Sunday, 4 February 2018

My Bisexuality is not for you.



At the age of 22, I have defended my bisexuality since I first understood what the word meant, and what bearing it had on my life. It has been viewed as a phase, as indecisiveness, as promiscuity, and as unreliability.
As a bisexual woman, I feel it is my duty to debunk all assumptions and urban myths, in regards to relationships.

What is bisexuality?

Well, there isn't really a straightforward answer. Broadly speaking, it is the attraction to multiple genders, yet it is a spectrum that is different for everyone.
According to bisexual activist Robyn Ochs, it is the acknowledgment of the;

"potential to be attracted -romantically and/or sexually- to people of more than one sex, and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree".


Overall, it is the word we use to acknowledge fluid sexuality. In a world where we constantly need to name things to understand them, bisexuality is an umbrella term for the following:

Pansexual, Omnisexual, Polysexual, Queer, Fluid, Homoflexible, Lesbiflexible, Heteroflexible, bi-curious, biromantic, panromantic, bi-sensual, pansensual, bi-dyke, byke, bisexual-lesbian, ambisextrous, anthrosexual, multisexual, gender-blind, pomosexual, and many, many more.

-of course feel free to challenge me on this.

What I think we can agree on is that bisexuality covers a plethora of fluid attractions to various genders. But to be bisexual, you don’t have to be dating men and women at the same time. You can if you want, but by no means is it a requirement. Neither do you have to have slept with both men and women to know? Likewise, you do not have to have sex with a member of the opposite sex to know you are straight-you just know.

Bi-Coming Out!

I was born bisexual. Growing up I had romantic feelings for both girls and boys, I wanted to be the lover of the prince and the princess. My first crush was on Disney's Mulan. I loved how she was the princess and the warrior. On my first day of middle school, I met a girl who had long, straight, dark hair and became immediately besotted by her. I also met a boy with hair like Ron Weasley's and he became my childhood sweetheart. Throughout my life, I have always known I liked both. But it wasn't until recently when I started to become more public about my preferences, thus began to face some opposition, that I really questioned my identity as a bisexual woman.

I have come out multiple times over the years.

Some friends just knew it before I told them; I guess my crush on Eva Green wasn't as discreet as I thought. Whilst others were shocked and said they wouldn't have guessed due to the men I had dated. That's the only thing about sexuality... it does tend to be defined by those who you hook up with. Through the tears, the tantrums, the laughter, the drama, I am fortunate enough in that most times I have come out; the people who have witnessed have been incredibly supportive. In fact, my most recent time of "coming out" was after far too many bottles of red wine followed by me laughing and crying and telling them I was into both, to which, my poor suffering friends, hugged me and were like "yep we know".
It's a strange concept, coming out, it suggests you have something to hide when in reality I never hid my sexuality; some people were just being ignorant of it. It’s stranger still that it’s an experience we have to be supported through. On that note, would you straight folk sort it out and stop being so, weird?

Bi-existence

I have encountered many people over the years who are adamant that bisexuality isn't a thing. Most of these people believe it is just a phase or on the pathway to coming out fully. It seems so silly and bizarre to me that a cutthroat decision on preference has to be made! It's like a game of Would You Rather but the stakes are going to frame the rest of your life!
According to Shiri Eisner, author of Notes for a Bi Revolution, Freud's Oedipus complex is built entirely around the notion of being bi. To begin with, the child is bisexual. It is learning the correct gender roles from mum and dad. Yet should this process fail, the child will turn out gay. If this process of identifying gender roles is successful the child will turn out straight aka normal. Bisexuality isn't an option. So in Freud's eyes, I need to re-establish my gender identity. Sweet.
The bottom line is that us Bi's, we are out, we are proud and we aren't going to change our minds any time soon.

Bi-Split
It is not a 50/50 split.

This is an assumption that I myself had until very recently. This past year, I have become less and less attracted to men and more so to women. I began to panic that I was gay and would have to end my relationship with my current boyfriend. But although it is a small percentage, I am still attracted to men. Some people are a clear 50/50 split, others are more 60/40, I myself am 80/20. My attraction is something that shifts constantly and at the end of the day, I am just attracted to certain individuals, irrespective of their gender.
I have had relationships with men and with women. At present, I am attracted to more women than I am men. This doesn't make me gay, this doesn't make me straight. I am happy fluctuating between the two.
After all, one can be attracted to blondes and brunettes simultaneously.
But, I hear you cry, being attracted to two different genders is different to hair colour! Well now you mention it, no, no it isn't. You see blondes have more fun, whilst brunettes are far sultrier, thus you have two very different relationships, but both are great.
The bottom line to my fantastic analogies is that bisexuality does exist and it is perfectly normal.

Bi- Str8 Men.

I am speaking strictly as a woman here when I say straight men that encounter bisexual women, are trash. I have no idea whether or not bisexual boys have to deal with this kind of objectification; I am very interested to know...
I started dating seriously when I was 16. My first boyfriend was around this time, which I dated for almost three years. When I first told him I was bi, his immediate response was to see if I wanted a threesome. I declined this very generous offer, so he offered to let me have sex with a girl he knew whilst he and her boyfriend watched. As accommodating as he was being to my exotic sexuality, I had to decline.
Gentlemen, my bisexuality is not for you. It is for me only. 
But to summarise:
  • No you can't watch
  • No, we can't have a threesome
  • No, I don't think that random girl is hot
  • No, I don't need you to help me make up my mind.
  • No, just no.
Then, of course, there is the usual straight person response to anything remotely queer;

"Oh... my friend is bi/gay/lesbian... you would get on really well"

Funnily enough, this isn't Little Britain. We are no longer the only gay in the village. We do not need your pathetic attempts at showing how woke you are through half-hearted setups.

Bi-Gay

As a bisexual, you are seen as the weird straight person in the LGBTQ community. You are seen as someone who doesn't know what its like to be truly gay and to have to suffer the exclusion that encompasses. Thus by default, you are excluded! It is viewed as a feature you can turn on and off. Of the few relationships I have had with women, bisexuality has been seen as a weakness. Some women have felt threatened by the men in my life and my attraction, albeit limited, for men in general. Others I have dated however have realized that their preference lies overall in men. Bisexuality is something that truly fluctuates and alters over time.

Bi-Slut

Another assumption of bisexuality that has littered my relationships is promiscuity. For some bizarre reason, because you are attracted to men and women, you are more likely to cheat. Yet, men still assume it is going to be with another man, not a woman...

Apparently, because I am not satisfied with just one gender, this means I will fuck my way around in hope to be sated. Oh honey no.

Once again, men and women, seem to assume that my bisexuality is a feature I turn on and off, in a bid to seem more exotic and like some real-life femme fatale. It is something that is sensationalized and put on a pedestal. The men treat you like some gift from god whilst their girlfriends regard you like the snake in Eden.

You know what I hate most of all in the whole wide world?... More than people who think that if you're bisexual it means you'll fuck absolutely anyone (especially them)?” 

People, my preferences in a partner have no bearing on my morals. For the record, my preferences/ standards are so high and specific I am essentially Mark Darcy in Bridgette Jones. 

Bi-Phase

Okay, so, apparently, it is just a phase. I have been going through this phase for almost 23 years and I am not sure I will get over it any time soon. Something I do find difficult in bisexuality and relationships is how people perceive your sexuality based on your current date. I am currently with a man, therefore, the world, LGBTQ community included, assumes me straight. Likewise, if I am with a woman, it is broadly assumed that I have made my choice.
As good old Shiri Eisner says:

“If a true choice can only be defined as a single gender preference, then structurally, bisexuality is impossible by definition."
Bi-Relationship?

How does being Bi affect my current relationship? For a long time I was made to feel as though my relationship defined my sexuality; that when with a woman, I was gay, and when with a man I was straight. I don’t want to say I am completely over it or that I no longer care for that mentality, because it does still bother me. It bothers me how I am categorized based on my relationship to a person. Yet without sounding like Fiat 500 Twitter, life is too short to constantly worry about what the str8s think.
On that note, I want to remind all bisexual people that your current choice/partner does not define you. You are no less bisexual as a result of that.
Members of the LGBTQ community and "Allys" aka straights, I hope this has cleared up the very complex notion of being attracted to both genders, based on individuals not on tits and dicks.
Love,

HRH xox



Instagram: @thelastredhead_
Twitter: @hrhportman
Wordpress: @thelastredhead

Further Reading Material:

H. R. H Portman, aka The Last Red Head, is a strident bisexual, intersectional feminist who doesn't hate men and likes to wear lipstick and lingerie for herself. As her name suggests, she is one of the few natural redheads in the world and since Prince Harry's engagement, her namesake will no doubt be put in the next Census statistics.
As a result of graduating in the wrong century, She has been negotiating the perilous seas of millennial life. From writing about the graduate lifestyle to mental health to feminism and of course, books. (She needs to use her very expensive Combined honors in Creative Writing and English Literature somehow).
She is from the Shire but currently resides in North London in a desperate bid to shake her Norfolk accent.

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