Over the next several posts, I’m going to discuss reasons bisexual men are misunderstood, and how theses reasons freaked me out as I discovered them. There is a lot of information about male bisexuality out there that is misleading, confusing, or only applicable to a small population of outliers in the bisexual male community. I can see how this problematic information makes women scared of bi guys, and I’m glad that, in my ignorance, I didn’t know about these stereotypes and misconceptions at first.
When I first met Jay, I didn’t ‘notice’ his bisexuality. I knew about it, but it wasn’t something I was constantly aware of. He seemed like most of the other guys I’d dated (only cuter, funnier, more clever; I liked to think that I always upgrade, so in my opinion Jay is better than all the others). It was kind of hard to understand that he was bisexual, or what that really meant.
Don’t get me wrong- it’s not that I didn’t believe him. I generally don’t question people’s claims about their sexuality. But… how shall I put this? I believed he was bisexual in the way that I believe Antarctica exists: Obviously it’s true… but I’ve never seen it, and it sounds pretty crazy… and it kinda seems impossible… and yet its true, its really down there, snowing up a storm, covered in ice, unlike anything I’ve ever seen in real life. In short, it was very foreign to me, hard to picture, yet somehow still real.
The topic of his sexuality didn’t really come up in our conversation. He didn’t ‘do’ anything bisexual (whatever that might be…), so it’s not like it was a big issue after our first few dates. (There was this moment when we were chatting and he said getting turned down for a date doesn’t bother him because there are still 6 billion other people in the world. This is a somewhat common saying that I’ve heard many people mis-state; there are actually only 3 billion because only half of them are the correct gender. I almost corrected him, but then I remembered that in his case, I guess it really was the full 6 billion. Then I thought about the fact that so few men are gay, so technically… at that point he was talking about something else so I let it go). Despite the fact that his sexuality wasn’t a huge topic of discussion, somehow just knowing that about him sort of made me curious.
So one evening, sitting on my bed, I turned to the internet, and typed in ‘bisexual men’. I don’t recommend this, unless you’re looking for dirty videos. If you are looking for dirty videos, then I do recommend it, and suggest adding “MMF” to your search. I, however, was looking for information on dating bisexual men, and whether it was any different from dating straight men. Changing my search to ‘bisexuality in males’ and ‘dating bisexual guys information’ was a little more successful.
Websites offered information about bisexuality, lists of common misconceptions, advice on coming out, complaints about ‘bisexual erasure’, etc. But there wasn’t much first hand advice from women dating bi guys, or bi guys dating women. I wanted to hear from a young, hip, sexy chick who had been in my position, and was gonna tell me “Don’t worry, my beautiful little Sydney, it’s all gonna be okay.” But these ladies were few and far between, (even when I was willing to compromise on the personalized shout-out).
What I did find was disheartening. For one thing, the existence of male bisexuality was seriously doubted as recently as 2005, when a study from a reputable research university found no evidence that men could truly be attracted to both genders. LUCKILY, I very quickly found a more recent study showing that men can indeed be attracted to both genders; the second one also noted flaws in the research methods of the previous study that may have made the results misleading.
I’m ashamed to say that if, in 2005 (as a young and impressionable teenager, never having met a bisexual person) I had read the first study, I would probably have very readily accepted that men calling themselves bisexual were full of shit. I mean it was SCIENCE. And I suspect that many people did just that. But its 2013, and in 2013, bisexual men do exist, so spread the word.
Stay tuned; the next post in this series will discuss problems with assuming bisexuality is equivalent to non-monogamy. And please feel free to comment on anything I’ve written, ask any questions, argue with me, etc.