Perks of A Blunt Confession: bisexual women are fed up with being defined by everyone but themselves

Perks of A Blunt Confession: bisexual women are fed up with being defined by everyone but themselves

 By Carolina Piras

Promiscuous, unloyal and nymphomaniacs. Bisexuals struggle to come out of the closet because of stigmas that precede them, whether it’s the LGBTQ+ community often erasing them, or heterosexuals dictating what can or can’t be true. In this piece, bisexual women, sexologists, and advocates explore racial intersection, underrepresentation in the community, and taboos to dismantle.

If you google bisexual woman, one of the first results will show an erotic picture of a girl with two men, probably prior to a threesome. That is enough to prove how superficial and uneducated is the way we perceive bisexual women among us. 

G Stone is a 41-year-old entrepreneur and founder of Straight”… But Not Narrow Ladies™” (SBNNL), an organisation created to foster community and meaningful connections for bisexual women of colour navigating cultural stigmas, taboos and microaggressions.

They operate through workshops, coaching, events, and travel designed to empower and support women in an authentic, unapologetic, and organic way.

The 41-year-old certified sexologist, master sexpert and coach, explained studies show bisexuals are the largest group in the LGBTQIA+ community yet the most invisible and underrepresented one.

“In 2022, there is still minimal data and statistics around bisexuality nor insight into the overlap of gender and race.”

Why? Perhaps it’s disturbing for our society to not stick a label right on your forehead. You know, something that puts you inside the box. 

The assumption, which is utterly ridiculous, that bisexuality is a temporary identity or is a loss of integrity implies that bisexual women only exist as a function of sex.

It’s real people, we are talking about. And we got so comfortable looking at these people as an object of pleasure, as attention-seekers, confused.

Stone calls out on the intersection of race and gender compounding disparity, particularly for women of colour: “Black women are often hypersexualized, fetishized and heavily stigmatized within and outside of their race and communities.”

Picture credit: courtesy of G Stone

Black women are often labelled with stigmas and stereotypes about their bodily autonomy from a very young age: “It influences and impacts their adolescent and adult experiences and shows up in various aspects of their lives.”

“They frequently struggle to find visibility and representation in a society that was not designed to consider or include them. As a result, they often feel isolated and alone,” she said.

Emma Gordon, 41, Founder of USSalvageYards, confessed she doesn’t enjoy talking about her bisexuality to people because “they generally believe I am going through a phase or generally confused, or that I am always willing to have a threesome.”

To these misconceptions, Gordon replied: “I’m not confused about my identity, but simply attracted to any gender I choose. This cost me a few relationships in the past. They are uncomfortable and hurtful. They must stop.” 

Tabby Farrar, 30, editor of JustCantSettle, which has written for the Gay&Lesbian Review, told Sane it happened several times that when dating someone they would simply assume being bisexual meant being polyamorous or promiscuous, or both.

“In my late teens, I was in an abusive relationship with a man who called me a “little s**t” when I told him I was bisexual, and who was constantly paranoid that I would cheat on him with both men and women, often accusing me of doing so and telling his friends that I told him I was a “nymphomaniac” and that was why he couldn’t trust me,” said Farrar.

“People assuming that everyone who is bisexual enjoys threesomes is almost the least offensive of the things I’ve heard. It’s still something that comes up both as a joke and as a serious assumption relatively often.”

Some of the faces behind bisexual women’s stories. Pictures credit courtesy of (in order): G Stone, Emma Gordon, Angélique “Angel” Gravely, Ash Gallagher, Elise Hendriksen

A well-meaning romantic partner once told Farrar he couldn’t keep seeing her as he didn’t want to “deprive her of her needs” but also could not be in a polyamorous relationship. “Again, I had to explain that bisexual and polyamorous are not the same thing.”

Angélique Gravely, 30, a bisexual LGBTQ+ Advocate and educator, works closely with underrepresented communities.

“In my experience, bi women are more likely than lesbian women to second guess their attractions and gender expression for longer periods after coming out because they are constantly combating the message that they don’t really exist or count as queer women,” she said.

“Spending time with other bi+ people helped me realize that my bisexuality wasn’t the problem society made it out to be, society was the problem.

“Realizing that I wasn’t the only person in the world experiencing attraction in the ways I did help me feel more confident calling out misconceptions and bi negativity for what they were.”

When leading gay rights, activists tried to assimilate into the straight culture – proving we are just like straight people – bisexual people were often discarded because “it was much harder to sell to straight people the idea that bi people were just like straight people than it was with gay people.”

“Bi+ people are often seen as a liability because we force people to ask questions that unsettle many assumptions they’ve been raised to believe,” Gravely clarified.

Infographic by Carolina Piras/Data source from Stonewall & YouGov

Elise Hendriksen, 35, publicist, said: “I’ve had multiple biphobic comments from lesbians as ‘I would never sleep with a woman who sleeps with men‘ and ‘If you’re dating a man you’re not queer‘ and ‘But if you’re with one gender, wouldn’t you miss the other and be more likely to cheat’.”

“I think it cuts deeper coming from your own community, and these were comments from ‘friends’. I hate that there are people made to not feel ‘queer enough’,” Hendriksen added.

Pie chart by Carolina Piras/Data source: Stonewall and YouGov

Ash Gallagher, 39, Narrative Embodiment Coach and writer, considers herself very sex-positive: “We should all embrace our sexual freedom. But what happens is that a particular kind of kink stereotype is created for the pleasure of patriarchy, rather than the pleasure of the woman, or the mutuality.”

“There are many settings where I just keep my mouth shut because the conversation is exhausting. There are times it’s worth educating the audience. And if my sexuality is mine, then it’s my choice and it doesn’t need to be the focus of my identity,” Gallagher also said.

To all the bi-girls unpacking themselves, the 39-year-old coach said: “You’re acceptable as you are, there’s no requirement for whom you love or how. More into boys or girls or evenly? Whoever lights up your soul, love fiercely. You are not a party favour, don’t let any man or woman treat you that way. 

While to the older bi-women, she said: “I see you, we are okay. It’s been a mess in the cultural and church spaces for a long time. It’s okay to be vulnerable, okay, after all this time, to step into who you are, love whom you love, you don’t owe an explanation of your sex life to anyone. Be proud and be in love, you’re still bi, it doesn’t go away, and there’s no shame.”

Treat People With Kindness: 10 things you can start doing to be a Bi+ ally

  • Don’t assume. Don’t assume. Don’t assume.
  • Do not associate bisexuality with a libertine lifestyle, nor with polyamorous. These are normal people loving freely, not existing to serve fantasy pleasure.
  • Do not associate bisexual women with being “hungry for sex” as their life parade: you don’t know that person’s story, and it’s highly offensive to look at anyone’s identity in a purely sexual function.
  • Do not assume bisexual people are more likely to cheat. It’s one of the thousands of false myths. A person can be likely to cheat independently of their sexuality. Being attracted to more than one gender, in the same way, doesn’t increase your need for sex or lack of control. 
  • Do not call bisexual women “confused” or “through a phase” when someone is openly talking to you about their character. You will be minimising the person’s identity before you even get to know them. Being bisexual is an orientation, not less than lesbian, gay or straight.
  • Do not go around bragging around about your bi-girlfriend as some sort of trophy, referring to her as a mere sexual object, or a kink accessory.
  • A bisexual woman can have a monogamous relationship with a man, which does not mean she is not attracted to women anymore; and vice-versa.
  • Do not treat bisexual women as some sort of thirsty beasts, that sooner or later will need to go out there and hunt new preys. Know the person and learn from her.
  • Do not assume a bisexual woman is in a lesbian phase of shame and denial. It’s not, although she is still attracted to women. Simply, that’s not all.
  • If you are a bisexual woman yourself still in the process of finding yourself, do not get into a relationship to shame your partner because of your insecurities, or the people that surround you. That could cause both you and the person long-term consequences.

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