One of the arguments used for defending bisexuality that I’ve heard the most is that being bisexual does not mean being promiscuous. That bisexual girls will not participate in threesomes, that bisexuals do not spend our entire days lusting over other people that are not our partners, etc. I’ve repeated these slogans while I grew up, and I’ve stood for them. Even while I knew it wasn’t true in my case. I’ve always been promiscuous, I’ve always wanted to do threesomes, and I’ve always spent the vast majority of my days lusting over people that I don’t even know. And this led to a very complicated process of building a sexual identity.
Because who would want to be the slut whose existence justifies that your bisexual (and lesbian) friends get hit on constantly? Who would want to be the slut that validates the narrative that all bisexuals are sex-obsessed nymphomaniacs and sex addicts? Who would want to be the slut that demonstrates that bisexuals are promiscuous and will never ever say no to any kind of sexual proposal? I, for one, would never want to be that person, but I felt that my inclinations could, and would, be used as a justification for the hate against us.
And so, I stuck to the narrative. I hid my inclinations, I strived to create connections with people I was fucking just for the sake of protecting my sexual identity from the truth: that most of the time I couldn’t care less about the people I was having sex with, that they were a fun hobby, but nothing else. I was consumed with emotional labour that I was not prepared for. And, most importantly, I was consumed with guilt. Guilt over lying to my sexual partners about my real implication with them and guilt over not being the good bisexual. The proper bisexual. The bisexual who is not interested in “just” having sex, but in building healthy, loving relationships with people.
The good bisexual, next in kin to the good gay and the good lesbian, does not make a show of their sexuality. They stay well inside the cis-het monogamous narrative, do not participate in public sexual or kinky acts, and most importantly, do not have any interest in building non-monogamous relationships. And I get it. As a collective, we’ve been accused of being a bunch of nymphos who couldn’t stay in a healthy, monogamous relationship if our lives depended on it. And we all know that if we stay in a more acceptable narrative, our sexuality will be less of a threat. We know that if we are bisexuals who have a boyfriend and then a girlfriend, at worst we will get bi-erased, but we will not be transformed into sluts.
Because being a slut is bad. If you identify as a slut, you’re royally screwed. You won’t be trusted by your partners, monogamous or not, you won’t be trusted by your family, by your friends, by your employers, by your colleagues. The slut is a major threat to our white, cisgender, heterosexual and monogamous society, and as such, we mustn’t trust them. The bisexual slut is even worse because they feel attracted to all genders – nobody is safe from this construct. We think that sluts will steal our husbands, wives, parents and children, and consume them as if they were some sort of succubi, and then, their victims will be no more. The slut is Medusa in the flesh, all bodily and sexual autonomy, and they must be destroyed.
So of course as bisexuals, we spend half of our lives trying to convince people that we all make perfectly good monogamous partners. That we will not lust over our married neighbours, that we will not corrupt the youngsters in our communities. And I’m really tired of hearing this once and again. I will lust over your husband in the same way that I will lust over you, because I am a sexual creature, and I lust over pretty much every fucking human being on the planet. And I refuse to be a lesser bisexual because of that. I deserve the same respect that the rest of my collective. I deserve to be able to explore and build my sexuality in a healthy way, not hidden in the corners of a hateful narrative, fearing that if I act out who I am, I will be excluded and ostracized.
Bisexuals are not inherently sluts. Bisexuals are not inherently prudes. We just are. We feel attracted to people in different ways and on different levels. So let’s stop whitewashing our sexuality so it fits a prudish, monogamous world, and let’s start reclaiming the space to live it in our own terms. As bisexuals, we have a responsibility to fight for spaces that allow people to grow and explore their sexuality. We have a responsibility to protest garbage such as what Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram are pulling lately. If we allow sex to be banned, we will be banned too.