In a survey I read online, I found out that over half of all bisexual people all over the world end up dating and settling down with a heterosexual person of the opposite gender to themselves. Now, there’s a lot of possible reasons behind this, it could be as simple as there simply being more straight people to choose from. However, there’s a large number of people out there who think this is because bisexuality doesn’t even exist – that it’s just some middle phase before going back to heteronormativity or finally accepting that you’re gay. I’ve heard the same argument a thousand and one times and I still have to grit my teeth at the erasure around bisexual folk, especially those in straight-presenting relationships.
Being bisexual, I always thought it didn’t really matter who I dated. I didn’t even know there was a word for it until my late teens, I just knew that gender felt somewhat irrelevant. I didn’t care if they were male, female, or neither of the two as long as there was a connection – but it seems that many people still feel the need for a bisexual person to somehow ‘prove’ their sexuality by playing the part or that somehow their sexuality is invalidated.
My last few relationships have been with straight men – they’re just the people I clicked with at the time. So if someone meets me for the first time and assumes I’m straight, that really doesn’t bother me because I’m aware that it presents that way.
But when someone asks me if I’m straight again – that’s when I get annoying. And when I say no, I’m not – this brings a whole stream of questions like “So are you dating a girl too?” and “But then why are you dating a man?” People definitely seem to assume that once I’ve committed myself to a person, I’ve committed myself to a whole new sexuality and identity to go along with it.
I’m lucky enough that I can be open with my partner about who I am, but dating straight men can sometimes bring its own set of problems to the table. Even from the beginning, just trying to tell the person you’re dating that your sexuality is different from what they may think can be a terrifying thing to do even now. Most men will just assume you’re straight because you’re involved with them. It’s hard, because sometimes telling people something about yourself can change everything and make people have some pretty horrible assumptions about you.
There’s the classic male-centered takes like “Oh great, can we bring a girl home, then?” – which, don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to, but that’s not exactly a first date conversation for most people. Or it can swing the totally other way and they point blank tell me to pick a side because they’re not comfortable with the idea of their girlfriend potentially being into another girl.
My answer to this is always the same: If I was interested in someone else, regardless of their gender, I wouldn’t be here with you. Just because I have the capability of being attracted to someone who isn’t the opposite gender to me doesn’t mean I am. Some of these people, not just guys, even feel the need to ask if they’ve “turned you” yet, like bedding a bisexual girl is some type of contest. But the truth is, it doesn’t matter how loving or sexy or sweet you are, you won’t change a girl’s sexuality by forcing it onto her. Even if I were to marry a man, that wouldn’t mean that I’ve finally chosen a side — I’d still be the same person as I’ve always been, I would just have found a person to love.
Another huge problem is the distrust it can bring onto you. Most guys get a bit put out when their girlfriend is spending time with her own guy mates, but when you’re bisexual, an insecure person sees everybody as a potential threat. I have beautiful friends, both male and female, and I have no interest in sleeping with any of them. And while that’s more a trust issue than a problem with dating straight men, it definitely makes the problem even bigger.
While dating a straight guy has it’s problems, it’s also amazing. I don’t wish I could date a woman too, or be with one instead, because I’m happy in my relationship. I don’t need to validate myself or question if my sexuality has changed because of the person I’m with. I know who I am no matter what everyone else thinks.
Besides, we can sit and drool over beautiful women together, and I don’t think there is a better bonding activity than that.