Look, I get it. The world changes too fast sometimes, and over the last twenty years our cultural attitude towards sexuality has become a whole new beast. Sexuality is weird and complicated, and stereotypes are like note cards so you don’t feel too adrift. It doesn’t mean you want to be a butthead! But sometimes those “theories” really hurt other people. Here are some assumptions you might have that are kind of…wrong.

20 Assumptions About Bisexuals That Only Buttheads Really Believe

#1: Bisexual people don’t know what we want.

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Ooh, wow, this is a big one. Some people think that just because bisexuals like girls and boys (scandalous!) that we can’t make up our minds without a coin flip. Believe it or not, many of us know exactly what we want for breakfast or what we want in a partner. We just happen to have more options.

#2: Bisexual people are just seeking attention.

Photo by George Bohunicky on Unsplash

If all you ever saw was music videos and TV shows then yes, you might guess that anyone with weird colored hair might be bisexual. In reality, sometimes it’s a pain in the rear to admit you’re bisexual, for all the reasons coming up and more. It’s not like we get special discounts or anything for being obnoxious. Bisexuals can be shy, or somber, or quiet, too. We’re a mixed bag.

#3: Bisexual women are just trying to show off for straight guys.

Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

*Cough* Madonna & Britney Spears *cough* Yes, some people have used bisexuality for clicks, but that’s so irritating to most bisexuals, it’s like stepping on a Lego. Look, it’s like catcalling: women of any sexuality don’t like it when someone assumes they are only there for men to look at. This isn’t a zoo. Let people like other people in peace.

#4: Bisexuals need “credentials” or we’re just pretending.

Photo by Wikilmages on Pixabay

For some reason, people don’t believe a person is bisexual unless they’ve been with men and women. I don’t know any bi people who carry punch cards that log who we’ve kissed because that’s creepy. Why the screening process? This is like asking for proof if a person says they like chocolate and vanilla ice cream.

#5: A bisexual person dating someone of the opposite sex is a faker.

Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash

I like using the term “significant other” for my romantic partner, who happens to be male (and I’m female). It’s cute, and it lets me and many bisexuals avoid the bouncer to the bi club. Reality is, bi people don’t have a light switch that turns on and off depending on who they date.

#6: A bisexual person dating someone of the opposite sex is just in denial.

Photo by Stanley Dai on Unsplash

Ever had a penny war? They’re competitive fundraisers where people can donate money to one team or another. The team with the most money “wins,” and it all goes toward saving the world. My theory is that some gays and lesbians think that they are having a penny war with straight people. Bi people are magical roving pennies that can tip the balance, so some homosexuals get nervous because bisexuals might “defect” to the “other team.” But it’s not a competition. We are all worth more than mere pennies.

#7: Bisexuals like men and women exactly equally.

Photo by Tumisu on Pixabay

Hey, let’s talk about ice cream again. There are some people who really like chocolate ice cream, but they also think vanilla is good, just not their favorite. Does liking vanilla sometimes or not as much or in special circumstances mean that a person is kidding about liking both? No, obviously. Bisexual people are the same: tastes may vary.

#8: Bisexuals are just experimenting.

Photo by PublicDomainPicture on Pixabay

You know what? Yes, some bisexuals are trying things out. But here’s another secret: experimenting is OK. It really is. How else will people know what they like? One of the cool things about being human is that we can grow and learn and change our minds, and that should never be a bad thing. But also, some bisexuals are just bisexual. If you must know, just ask nicely about it.

#9: Bisexuality means…odd.

A lot of bisexual characters in the media seem a little weird. Sometimes they’re “quirky” (ex: Roger, the alien from American Dad), and other times they are out-and-out psychos (ex: Dorian Grey). Not really a balanced representation, is what I’m getting at. We do have Wonder Woman, Korra, and Xena though, so I guess it’s not all bad.

#10: Bisexual people want multiple partners… at once.

Having multiple people being intimate together is complicated. As in: you need an instruction manual, call the coast guard, we’re kinda lost, complicated. Don’t assume every bi person is into this because not all of us are.

#11: Bisexual people are sooooo alluring.

You know who else is bisexual in the media? Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, two villains from the Batman comics. Because it’s totally OK to be villains if we’re sexy, right? (roll eyes here) Not many people, bisexual or otherwise, like to wear spandex or metal bras. And you shouldn’t feel like you have to be a certain kind of attractive to “qualify” for a sexuality.

#12: Bisexual people have more drive for… l’amor.

Photo by Nitish Meena on Unsplash

Look, we’re all busy people, whether we’re bisexual or not. The simple fact of the matter is many bisexuals have to schedule all aspects of their lives and have neither time nor energy for anything extra.

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Rebecca Barnstien is an experimental poet who likes writing listicles on the side. She also enjoys traveling and is very proud to have finally finished her MA.