What is straight?: Bisexuality/Pansexuality 101 - Myths
Myth 4: “When you’re with the same-sex you are gay, when you’re with the opposite-sex you are straight”
Your sexuality is not defined by who you are with at the currently moment. If so then most of EC has no sexuality since most of you are single, and thus no gay. Also when someone is with one gender the feelings for the other don’t go away.
Myth 5: “Bisexual/pansexual people need a boyfriend and girlfriend at the same time”
Some chose to have both, and that is a personal choice, but it is not a need. When a bisexual or pansexual person is with one gender they aren’t always craving the other gender. They won’t get bored cause they need the other gender. Also, from my experience some go on kicks. So one month I’ll really be attracted to girls, but then the next month I’ll notice boys more. Also I’ve never been going out with one gender and then suddenly started craving the other one.
Myth 6: “Bisexuals/pansexuals have more STD’s”
Whether a person is practicing safe sex depends on the person, not their sexuality. Also the bigger pool thing doesn’t apply because they still have to go through the process of luring a mate like every other person. And pansexuals aren’t constantly having orgies either.
Myth 7: “Bisexuals/pansexuals are just confused, I said I was ‘bi’ once too and now I’m gay/straight”
True bisexuals are not confused. There are many people who will identify as bi/pan when figuring themselves out. That’s okay, it’s not something easy to figure out and saying your bi/pan helps keep your options open. What else can you call yourself? It’s hard to tell someone you are sexually confused cause you feel pressured to know and put a label on, and bi has become the label that is picked up. It allows people to say “I’m THIS” and then figure out all the rest later. It also allows people to feel connected to the community they know (straight people) while exploring the people they don’t know (gay people).
Myth 1: “People are either Gay or Straight, anyone who is anything else is lying.”
The problem most people have with sexualities is that they are stuck in binaries. Male and Female, Gay and Straight, Black and White. But all these binaries are really spectrums, many things fall in between the two extremes, and some things don’t fit at all. Starting with gay and straight we have bisexual people who fall in the middle. And on the same token we have asexual people, who don’t lie in the spectrum, but somewhere near it (to the right about 2 inches actually) Bisexuals experience an attraction (could be physical and/or emotional) to both sexes. The attraction may be based on the physical sex and how they accept (or reject) the gender roles that go with it. For some however they are gender-blind and just attracted to the personality of the person (usually called pansexuals, but bi and pan pretty much go hand-in-hand). Now most people can hear someone say “they are attracted to both” but it can’t sink in cause of the binaries. To help break thinking in the binaries we’ll look at male and female. Are there only two ways to express your gender? No, there is male, female, and tons of other identities in between the two. Androgyny is one, and some people would consider FtM and MtF as other genders themselves. Not to mention there are people who identify as the third gender (which I know little about, but the point is most people think there are only two, but look how many there really are).
Myth 2: “Bisexual/pansexual people are all sluts\will cheat on you\ leave you for the same/opposite sex”
Reason why people think we’re sluts. Let’s say you see two men holding hands walking down the street, what are they? Most would say gay. Now you see a boy and a girl kissing in the park, what are they? Most would say straight. You see a girl at a party making out with girls and then going to flirt with a boy, what is she? Most would say Bi. In reality all those people could be bi and you’d never know it. Bisexuals/pansexuals are seen as sluts because they only time a bisexual person become visible is when they are exhibiting promiscuous behavior. It’s hard to tell if someone is bi/pan unless they are being promiscuous or they tell you they are. As for cheating on you, yes bisexuals have a greater population of people whom they are attracted to, but like everyone else they aren’t attracted to every single person. Some people think bisexuals or pansexuals are attracted to everything, but that would be like if I said all gay men are attracted to all men. So their pool is bigger, but they’ve also have to find someone with whom they can cheat on you with. Straight people will even say that finding someone to date/hook up with is not always the easiest tasks, so even with more people the odds of finding someone who is interested is still slim. And as Joey said before, it’s not someone’s sexuality that determines if they will cheat on you, it’s the person themselves. Any person who is gay, straight or could leave you at anytime, but you shouldn’t assume they will. And as Kirah said, you shouldn’t shy away from a relationship cause it could end, the fact is in most people’s lives the majority of their relationships ended!
Myth 3: “To be bisexual/pansexual means you must like boys and girls equally”
If that is the case, and being gay means you must only like your sex then anyone in between these rigid rules is screwed! Labels are all very loose, and should be used how you want them. If someone wants to identify as gay, but they are more attracted to the opposite sex than the same then they are still gay. Your label is what you want it to be. When someone discloses their sexuality you should ask “what does that mean to you” cause each word means something different to each person, and if you really want to know then asking is the best way to find out.
“The thing that frightens men about homosexuality is that they think about a man allowing himself to be treated like a woman, and there’s nothing worse, nothing so flying in the face of patriarchy than for a privileged man, privileged by being male rather than female, to allow himself to be treated like a female. Euch, who would want that?”—
A lot of the heterosexism that particularly comes from straight men stems from sexism and a desire to hold onto gender roles. Straight men equate gay men with being more “feminine” or that gay men somehow are closer to being women, and of course, that’s a threat to masculinity.