There’s a thing every bi+ person knows: nobody else believes in us. Out of all those who fall under the pan/bi+ umbrellas, bi+ men struggle with this invisibility more than any other.
Just look at some of our pop culture icons; you ask the average person on the street, and they’ll say David Bowie was straight and Freddie Mercury was gay. These two greats were bi+. The same applies to bi+ when we speak about Malcolm X, Marlon Brando, or Carey GrantTheir intimate relationships with men are often repressed. While these men are just a handful in our constellation of bi+ icons, nobody can debate that these men haven’t shaped our contemporary landscape.
And their sexualities were part. While folks may try to write over bisexuality, bi+ men have been around since time began – and lucky for us, they’re here to stay.
What is the problem? Bi+/pan people are subject to rejection from heterosexual and queer communities, but bi+ men are more likely to be rejected.
Bisexuality and untrustworthiness are often seen as one thing by people outside the bisexual community. Straight and gay folks alike write bi+ folks off as fakers – and if they do admit we exist, we’re often nothing more than born cheaters. Bi+ men are the most affected by these stereotypes. One study found that bi+ men are less likely to be viewed as more intelligent than their counterparts. Physically attractive They will be more successful than their gay or straight peers.
To make things worse, men who come out as bi+ are often just assumed to be a closeted gay man – to the point that many straight women doubt their bi+ partner’s attraction to them. Major newspapers include The New York Times calling bi+ folks “liars” in their Headlines doesn’t help, either.
Although men have often more security and privilege than women, bi+ men can face unique challenges. Bi+ men claim that they have unique challenges. Walk a tightrope of masculinity, having to not only be enough to partners of all genders but “masculine” enough for their workplace.
Biphobia causes more discomfort than just making men feel uncomfortable. It also makes them more vulnerable and makes them subject to extreme rage. When Cornell’s study emerged showing that virtually nobody is completely heterosexual, the internet lost its collective shit. Autostraddle collected some of the most wildest. Comment People wrote in response The Daily Mail’s article on the study – and it is shocking to see how vehement people were about denying any dash of bisexuality running through their veins.
Is it any wonder that there is so much ridicule in the public sphere? Halb Bi+ men are still very closeted at work. When the hetero-dominated world demands men perform their masculinity according to a rigid set of expectations, it’s easy to understand why bi+ men would do their best to fly under the radar.
It is easy to see why, when you look at men who have made public declarations of their bisexuality. In 1983, David Bowie openly said coming out had been a “mistake;” the American public just wasn’t ready to embrace a bisexual performer. His coming out was a setback in his creative career that kept him from being able to pursue other opportunities. Likewise, Billie Jo Armstrong of Green Day’s openness It has been hard to accept his bisexuality. His sexuality since he married a woman has been constantly ridiculed and questioned.
We can’t even escape biphobia in today’s media. When Bi boys do show up on TV (which is rare), they’re villains – from the garbage in Reality TV Shows Loki. When a bi+ man exists, he’s the bad guy, the deceiver.
When you look at it that way, it’s no wonder that Only 19% are bisexuals You are completely out of the closet. Being painted as a villain gets exhausting – especially when it comes from your own community.
Biphobic attitudes can also be displayed by LGBTQ people.
If you look at Billie Joe Armstrong’s struggles with acceptance, a lot of that ridicule and doubt about his sexuality comes from within the LGBTQ community itself. Bi+ folks have a long history of getting ostracized by their own groups – and it impacts our dating lives.
Case in point: straight women aren’t alone in taking issue with dating queer, bi, and pan men. Even bisexual women like Amber Rose have said they wouldn’t date bi+ men. Many gay men also celebrate bi+ people, but many others accuse them from trying to make their queer experience more visible.
In my own experience, I hear biphobia against men in particular virtually every time I’m in a large queer event of largely cisgender gay or lesbian folks; a bi+ man, often, is seen as an intrusion into their space.
It’s not just my own observations I’m going off of, though. 2013 saw a Survey Pew Research Center conducted a survey and found that bisexual males were less accepted than gay men, bisexual women, and lesbians. In fact, just a piddly 8% of our community reported “a lot of social acceptance of bisexual men.” For comparison, nearly half said there was “no social acceptance” of bisexual men in our current society.
This possibly has to do with our culture’s obsession with men being the ultimate end-goal for all sexuality. It is a cultural assumption that straight people are more attracted towards men. This means that bi+ women tend to assume that they are straight, while bi+ men are thought to be secretly homosexual.
That doesn’t mean it’s easier to date other queer people; if anything, gay men and lesbians often assume that bi+ folks are just straight people who want attention. It could also be why bi+ people are more likely to have more. Straight-assumed relationships.
Bi+ men find themselves at a crossroads. Either they choose to be with someone and keep closeted about their fluid sexuality or they can go public and expose their identity and risk losing their potential partners.
Let’s be clear, these stigmas do more that just help bi+ guys. According to The Advocate, it’s “literally killing us.” A third of all bi+ men have attempted or contemplated suicide. Half suffer from mood disorders. Bi+ men are also more likely than their gay counterparts to be poor, raped or to experience domestic violence. This constant stigmatization is a major problem Depression Low self-worth and depression can affect every aspect of their daily lives.
When we’re stigmatizing one group, we can’t pretend it doesn’t impact us all. We can’t keep bi+ men in boxes if we continue to stigmatize them. Their suffering will only strengthen the ideas that keep other queer communities down.
Regardless of stigma, the bi+ community will be around forever. It is clearer than ever that there are many of us, regardless of how we have been treated.
Gen Z and Millennials in particular are more confident about their bi+ selves then any other generation. A 2016 study found that nearly 80% of respondents felt confident in their bi+ selves. One in two 18-24 identified as being something other than straight. In today’s landscape, that means that when you’re talking to someone between the ages of 22 and 29, there’s a fifty-fifty chance that they identify somewhere under the rainbow.
As bisexuality becomes more common, it stands to reason that our culture’s relationship to bi+ men will evolve. It’s high time that bi+ boys had their day in the sun – and now that Millennials and Gen Z are dominating the cultural conversation, maybe that time has come. And maybe that means it’s time you opened your dating sphere and invited a few more bi+ men to the picture.
You are thinking of getting intimate with a bi+ man? Begin by accepting them for who they are. Your new bi+ boyf won’t treat you the same way straight or gay partners have in the past. He is his own force, whose sexuality is preserved exactly as it is. If you’re a gay man, respect his past relationships with women; if you’re a straight woman, remember that your new bi+ guy isn’t some gay bestie that you sleep with. He’s a man who’s attracted to and interested in Y-O-U.
That’s not to say that dating a bi+ guy is radically different. As it turns out, in many ways it’s a lot like dating a straight or gay guy. When you’re on a date with a guy who’s open about his bisexuality, treat the date just like you would with any other guy. The majority of women have one thing in common: dating a bi+ man was as normal as any other type of relationship.
The article showed that bi+ women actually enjoy dating bi+ men far more than straight people. That’s probably because we can be ourselves completely. There are few things more fun than watching TV with your bi+ beau and saying “damn” about the same hottie on the screen regardless of their gender. Amber Rose, it turns out, didn’t know what she was missing.
And all those stigmas and hangups, it turns out, only bar folks from some really stellar lovin’. Bi+ men make better lovers in the sack overall, likely because they’ve been on both ends of different acts and can draw from a well of techniques to wow their partner regardless of what they’re working with below the belt.
They’re not only better lovers; that same article that points to their love making skills also points to bi+ men being generally preferable long-term partners and fathers, as well. One Bi man This could be due to their experience with multiple genders. When they’ve tasted so many different communication styles, issues with gender-based violence, and perspectives on how to make a relationship work, it’s no surprise that this breadth of experience makes them more present partners as a whole.
Women dating bi+ men get another perk: because they’ve dated men before, bi+ men tend to break free of Gender roles, treating their partners like equals and playing to one another’s strengths instead of enforcing some arbitrary line.
When you zoom out and look at everything a bi+ guy’s got going for him, it’s a marvel there aren’t people of all genders begging for a date.
Bi+ boys should be celebrated. Every bi+ man in your life is sweet, fluid, and full of love.
Do you want to be a great supporter? Listen more – and validate them exactly where they’re at. Instead of trying to understand their sexuality or making them explain it, embrace them.
If you’re ready to go the extra mile for your bi+ friends and neighbors, it’s on you to talk about male bisexuality more. Share articles. You can watch YouTube videos. Follow bi+ men on Twitter and TikToks. The more folks there are in bi+ men’s corner, the closer we can get to a world that lets bi+ men be exactly who they are.
Bisexuality and pansexuality are complete identities – valid, whole, and perfect as is. So let’s hear it for all the bi+ boys in our life. Stigmas are passé; bi+ boys are the new rage.
Nikita is a PDX-based author. She applies a queer, sex positive lens to all she touches, from foot fetishes articles to new song lyrics. She can be found writing her novel, creating music, being involved in community theater or just generally being a complete ham when she is not sex-writing.