Many monosexuals (gays and straights) seem to believe that the concept of bisexuality explicitly implies that bisexuals always want to have both a man and woman as lovers. This belief tends to leads to the perception that when we bisexuals are in a monogamous relationship, we must have an unyielding ache for the gender that our significant other is not. This is partly where the stereotypes of bisexuals being confused, greedy, and cheaters comes from — the imagined realities that others have of how our minds hearts, and groins function.
Often the negative attributes that those we try to bond with assign to us out of prejudiced-induced fear, become self-fulfilling prophecies. We tire of our partner’s suspicions, accusations, and targeted insults, and eventually do leave in search of someone who can respect and trust us for who we actually are. Our leaving fuels, once again falsely, the stereotypes. This is especially true if the person we hook up with next happens not to be of the same gender of the person who has been left.
However, the fact is, many bisexuals desire and value monogamy, want only to find that one other in whichever gender that person happens to manifest.
Talking about monogamy and bisexuality is very akin to talking about homosexuality and monogamy, and heterosexuality and monogamy. For all sexual identities, when we chose monogamy we choose to forgo fulfilling all desires that the one we have promised fidelity to cannot give us.
Lesbian, Lori, ideally wants a woman who shares certain sexual fantasies, likes to hike, will cuddle after sex, has long legs, large breasts, and loves bowling. Lori ends up falling in love with Pam who has long legs, loves cuddling and hiking, but has small breasts, hates bowling, and though she loves to put on a sexy cowgirl outfit, has refused to ever make love in the rain.
Lori’s bowling teammate, the flirtatious Shelly, happens to have large breasts and reveals one day that she has always dreamed of having sex in the rain. Will Lori cheat on Pam with Shelly? If she’s heartless, or has psychological issues that compel her to seek drama and self-destruction, she likely will.
Or, maybe Lori will not even be tempted because she’s mentally healthy, and crazy about Pam and their awesome relationship.
Okay, now just transfer all that on Bisexual, Betty, who has committed herself to monogamy with another woman. Yeah, this woman cannot fulfill Betty’s desires for men, but weather Betty cheats has to do with her personality, mental health, and the nature of their relationship, not the fact that Betty is bi.
Further, it’s presumptuous to assume that Betty even has tugging desires for men.
The notion that bisexuals always want both a man and a woman is based on the idea that bisexuality means being attracted to, what many monosexuals seem to perceive as, opposite traits found in men and women.
Some bisexuals do revel in the differences, and are attracted to masculine men and feminine women. However, other bisexuals are also — or even mostly, or solely — attracted to those who blur, blend, or eschew gender dualities. Still other bisexuals refer to themselves as being “gender-blind.” These bisexuals desire people for attributes other than gender, with gender being of no, little, or only secondary interest. Betty, may in fact, be ecstatically happy to have found someone as wonderful as her girlfriend, and not feel the absence of a male lover at all.
Human sexuality is highly complex. Because gay and straight encompasses those on the extremes of gender attractions, and bisexuality everyone else, it is in bisexuals that we see the complexities and multitudes of possibilities.
While monogamy is desirable and attainable for many bisexuals, there are others who do prefer to have multiple lovers. Next month I will talk about bisexuality and polyamory. I will also cover some of the other reasons behind the stereotypes of bisexuals being unable to commit that were not touched on this month.
This post first appeared as my December 2014 BiAngle column in The Gayly.