Switch Studies posted an excellent blog post this week about bisexuality; it struck a chord with me because it’s something that’s been on my mind as well.
When I moved to Korea six years ago, I had been exclusively dating women for a couple of years and publicly identified as gay. No one questioned my sexuality; in fact, everyone I met completely embraced it – even my Korean friends who’d been brought up in a country where homosexuality “doesn’t exist.” My straight male friends bantered with me about dating women (and said some pretty horrific things to me because they weren’t trying to get in my pants); my lesbian friends accepted me as one of their own and made jokes about wanting to date “real” lesbians and not bisexuals.
Last year, I hooked up with a guy I’d been crushing on for a year and ended up dating him, then falling in love. It was hard to tell this to my lesbian friends, but they accepted me and were happy for me at the time. It was much harder to tell my straight friends, most of whom were super confused. “But… you’re gay,” they’d say (surprisingly, this is the same exact thing my mother said). “Actually,” I’d reply, “I’m bisexual; I just haven’t dated men in years.” Even after a year of being aware that I was dating men again, I still had straight friends come up to me after seeing me make out with a guy in a bar and say, “Hey – what’s that about? I thought you were gay.” Or worse – they’d assume that now that I was bi, I would fuck anyone.
Public Service Announcements:
Bisexual people don’t want to fuck everyone.
Non-monogamous people don’t want to fuck everyone.
Standards! I have some!
In the last year, most (but not all) of my sexual partners have been men. This has more to do with the availability of dating partners than my desire to date men versus my desire to date women; there are just a lot more single straight and bisexual guys where I am than gay or bisexual girls. To complicate things, I am non-monogamous and really up front about dating multiple people, which a lot of ladies aren’t so down with. For me, having sex is not as important as being honest.
I’m feeling a bit confused myself. There’s a philosophical question that gets posed to Dan Savage every week: If I’m not currently fucking someone of the same sex, am I really bisexual? (In a similar vein, if I only have one partner right now, am I really non-monogamous?) The answer is yes, of course… but sometimes I feel like I’ve lost my queer cred, if that’s a thing. Sometimes I feel like I don’t get to hold the queer umbrella over my head because it’s raining men.
There have been times when a woman expressed interest in me but I wasn’t interested in her (because someone showing an interest in you doesn’t necessitate reciprocation); at these times, I felt like I was failing as a queer lady for not prioritizing being in a relationship with *any* woman over being with someone I was actually interested in dating. My lesbian friends would actually tell me to date someone in the community simply because she was available without consideration of compatibility.
Where I’m at right now is that I want partners who I’m compatible with. Other people who already identify as non-monogamous. People I have chemistry with and share interests with. And that means that right now, I don’t have a female partner… but I’m still sexually and romantically attracted to women. On days like this, I miss San Francisco.