Nobody Loves You When You’re Bi

The subtle complexities of dating as a bisexual man.

Boundless Vice | Rodney-Donovan Taylor | March 31, 2016

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Days after courting a very cute guy I had an eye for since the first day of my sophomore year, I had finally got him into my bed. The subject of my bisexuality and previous experiences with girls had come up after becoming comfortable in the post-sex haze. His apparent disgust with the idea of my hand having contact with a vagina was enough for him to tell me that I had “vagina cooties.” Shortly after, to not make the night anymore awkward, I washed my hands to appease him.

Bisexuality is still not easy waters to navigate in today’s dating world. For ladies, it can get you offers for threesomes with straight couples curious to explore sexual bounds and for guys it is quite the opposite. While threesomes are not the defining point of operating within the gray areas of sexuality, it seems that being a bisexual-identifying male in the dating scene is still a sharp, jagged double-edged sword.

Coming out as a “bi” guy was difficult because the biggest battle from within the closet was deciding between getting incorrectly tagged as “gay” or hiding because you were sure that getting with a girl wasn’t going to bring your sexuality into question (unless you’re like me and your dancing skills already landed you in the treacherous “suspect” category). After deciding that both outcomes resulted in a lose-lose situation, I truly stopped caring and even rejected all labels of orientation accepting that my fluidity was valid regardless of outsider opinion.

However, after re-entering the dating scene I notice that it wasn’t going to be long before I encountered those outdated mindsets, yet again. Girls still tread lightly when deciding to confess their attraction to me because of perpetual gayness and guys always raise an eyebrow towards my “suspect” status. These statements sound immature when written on paper but it doesn’t even come across as unlikely possibilities when I think about potential dates set up by Tinder.

As part of the LGBT community where bisexuals already face erasure from being left out of conversations on marriage, homeless youth, and medical advising, it’s funny that we are also left out of feeling like our love lives are valid. Being bi means that your sexuality is assumed at first glance and being treated like a liar when you fall outside of everyone’s initial perception of you. There is no real grace in being able to “pass” for straight or gay because there is no comfortable spot in either label to describe you. Of course, we could do away with all labels but all that really means is having to face the same issues with no language to navigate those waters.

Dating is never going to be easy–regardless of your “label”–but it seems as if there is no progressing around the idea of bisexuality in the same way that it has on other queer issues. We are more likely to be unfazed by one’s declaration of being gay. Do people react differently to bisexuality because it could check the ways in which people actually feel about the gay community around us? It is easy for some to to say that they have no problem with bisexual guys courting whomever they please until that possibility actually becomes a reality. I’m sure that all those who swipe right on my profile on tinder mean well, but I can’t help but feel that reactions to my sexual orientation reveal hidden attitudes that some people may not be ready to confront.
Obviously, these are things that won’t change by the time I probably clock out of the dating world again. These points do serve as a way of truly examining the attitudes we have towards bisexual people. It’s easy to say that someone’s orientation doesn’t change your view of them until their sexuality may come into play with yours. The question is will someone’s announcement of bisexuality elicit them an offer for a threesome, a judgemental rejection, or cause us to rethink how we interact with it?