Don't All Bisexuals Sleep Around?
This is probably the most persistent stereotype of bisexuals, that they will have sex with “anything that moves.” While there are certainly some bisexuals who have a lot of sex with a lot of partners, the same can be said about some heterosexuals and some gay people. The sex-crazed bisexual has been portrayed in many porn movies, trashy novels, and even some mainstream TV shows, but the myth does not hold up to reality.
As one of my bisexual male clients lamented, “I only wish I was getting half as many dates as everyone seems to think I have! My life is not nearly as glamorous or sexy as bisexuals in the movies!”
While research on bisexuals is not extensive, what studies do exist show that bisexuals are not any more likely to have multiple partners or to cheat on a spouse than either straight or gay people.
A few anecdotal studies indicate that bisexual people who are single have more sex partners than straight people while they are in a period of being single. One researcher attributed that to the old Woody Allen joke about how being bisexual instantly doubles your chances of getting a date on Saturday night.
However, when bisexuals enter committed relationships, existing research indicates that they are just as likely as straight or gay people to be monogamous.
Many studies have been done on adultery and cheating among heterosexual married couples, and those studies all show that men are much more likely to cheat then women, which will hardly come as a surprise to anyone!
Researchers disagree on the percentages, ranging anywhere from 40 % to 80% of all married men cheating on their wives, and from 20% to 40% of all wives cheating on their husbands during the course or the marriage. But since there are currently no definitive studies on infidelity among bisexuals as compared to heterosexuals and/or gay couples. So there is no way of knowing for sure whether a bisexual partner will be any more likely to cheat than a heterosexual or gay partner. However, the media portrayal of the “promiscuous” bisexual sleeping with anyone and everyone is clearly overblown.
So Why Don’t I Ever Meet Any Bisexual People?
You may have noticed that bisexuals are not very visible around you, and many people have wondered whether bisexuals even exist. As I mentioned earlier, many bisexuals remain “closeted” for fear of ridicule by family and friends, or even losing their jobs.
Many choose to “come out” only to a few family members and close friends, keeping their bisexuality private from everyone else because of the stereotypes that I have described. Many of my clients have struggled with how to explain their orientation to relatives and friends who may reject them or have misconceptions.
One woman, a self -described “divorced suburban soccer mom” chose to tell her 17-year-old daughter the truth about her female “friend” she had been dating for 9 months. Her daughter was comfortable with her mother's bisexuality, but when she casually mentioned it to her best friend, the friend's mother refused to let her visit anymore.
When the mother called her to discuss it, she said she was worried her daughter would be exposed to “wild sex orgies” at her house. So you can see why people choose to keep things private!
IF YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE :
If you have some questions I haven't answered, here are a few websites that are chock full of everything you have always wanted to know about bisexuality but didn't know who to ask!
BiNetUSA.org is the most extensive website with information and resources about bisexuality.
Bisexual Resource Center, located in Boston, is a national information and resource center, their website is Biresource.net.
American Institute on Bisexuality is a treasure trove of research on bisexuality, their website is Bisexual.org.
And Some Great Books on Bisexuality:
Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out by Loraine Hutchins, Editor & Lani Ka'ahumanu, Editor ISBN 1-55583-174-5
Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World by Robyn Ochs, Editor & Sarah Rowley, Editor ISBN 0-9653881-4-X
Bi America: Myths, Truths, And Struggles Of An Invisible Community by William E. Burleson ISBN 978-1-56023-478-4
Bisexuality: The Psychology and Politics of an Invisible Minority by Beth A. Firestein, Editor ISBN 0-8039-7274-1
Current Research on Bisexuality by Ronald C. Fox PhD, Editor ISBN 978-1-56023-288-5
Bisexual Characters in Film: From Anais to Zee, by Wayne M.Bryant, Haworth Gay & Lesbian Studies, 1997. ISBN 1-56023-894-1
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Like this latest article from Kathy? Check out Part 2 and 3 if you missed them:
For more on polyamorous relationships, read Kathy's new book: Love in Abundance: A Counselor's Guide to Open Relationships