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Real Talk: The 'Grey Area' of Sexuality

Something I've wanted to talk about on NB for quite some time now is sexuality. There's seems to be a level of stigma attached to being open and confident with your sexuality no matter what your "preferences" are. If you're homosexual you can be hit with some horrendous words from repulsive folk, if you're straight you can be called a "slut" and a "whore" just for being comfortable with your sexuality and promoting good sex. Even in more "forward thinking" areas, the law might say one thing about freedom of speech, free to love, free to marry etc., but people's attitudes to one and other is a totally different kettle of fish.

For me, my sexuality usually isn't too much of an issue but over time, I've realised I've kept it to myself more and more and sometimes outright lied just to avoid the conversations and questions it would inevitably produce. But honestly? That's not okay. I want to talk about it here because it's my space to let my mouth run free and for me to express my opinions and thoughts on various matters but also I don't want other people thinking they're on their own when it comes to things like this because I guarantee, there will be some more of us out there that have had similar experiences. So with that said, let's talk about bisexuality. If you were to google "bisexual" in search for a definition, it will inform you that it is 'sexual behaviour or a sexual or romantic attraction to males and females' and that's it. That's what it is. That's the definition and that's the meaning of the word yet over the years, over the time I have identified as bisexual, I have had a lot of things said to me, I've had people act a certain way towards me, and just generally it has usually resulted in an overall negative experience for me to be confident and honest about my sexuality when in conversation with others. I'm not saying being bisexual is more of a struggle than other sexualities because - it's not. However I can only talk about my own experiences and I've often found people to act rude or overly vocal/nosy about bisexuality towards me which I can't understand. So I thought it was high-time I busted some myths surrounding bisexuality that I have either been asked or accused of.

"Being bi is greedy." This has got to be my favourite thing because people have actually said it to my face! The whole "having your cake and eating it" statement has been thrown around a lot when talking about being bi and I just don't get it. I mean, sure. You've got more choice in the sense that you have two genders you can 'pick and choose' from however it doesn't mean I am greedy. I'm not saying all of these individuals are mine; I'm not capitalising on them. Think of it if you are a heterosexual person who likes both blondes and brunettes. Are you greedy? Are you stealing your fair share of suitable suitors because you like both hair colours?! You can see how ridiculous it sounds right? Which brings me on to my next point.

"Everyone is at risk." Another favourite as I didn't realise I was the plague. As soon as the "bi" word is thrown into the mix, everyone thinks you fancy everyone else. I don't know what it is about saying bisexual that makes people hear 'sexual predator' but it seems to happen more often than not. I always think this is a slight breakdown in education as if you were going to be really blunt and black and white about things, pansexuality has more variety and is more inclusive of even more sexualities/identities than bisexuality however again pansexual individuals will still have a 'preference' or a 'type' to some degree. People seem to assume if you say "I find men and women sexually attractive" that means you find ALL of them attractive which is so far from the truth. I like really *manly man* looking men and I basically fancy anyone who looks like Ellen Page when it comes to women so no, I don't fancy everyone. Every person on the planet will have a preference or something they look for in another person if they are sexually or romantically interested so why it has to be different for bisexuals is beyond me!

"Oh so you're BI huh? *heart eyes and drooling*." I blame porn and American high school movie settings for this one. There's something about saying the word bi to people (usually straight guys - sorry for generalising but this is the only time I've came across this trauma!) that turns them into the strangest perverted folk around. I'm of course saying that with a jokey way but the way people instantly change is bizarre. I fully understand and respect that two women being sexual together can be a turn on for some people and that is absolutely fine - I am not here to say what people should and should not get a kick out of, but when you become treated like a level entertainment, that is when I have a problem with it. Teamed with the "you must fancy everyone" mindset, suddenly you are asked if you'd kiss that girl over there in a bar, or if you fancy every girl who walks past. I hate to be a disappointment and a let down, but I'm not really into having a pillow fight with 7 tall leggy blondes in my underwear. I've even had friends try to be almost pushy in the past when you're in a bar; trying to make you talk to another drunk girl who they assume will want to get in on that sort of action for attention. I can promise you the majority of bi girls in this instance do not want to be part of that and it's verging on abusive to force that expectation for your sexual benefit onto others - just saying!

Before this post gets a little bit too ranty, I just want to say I am saying these things in a lighthearted way. The majority of my negative experiences with people's reactions towards my sexuality have been things that I have long since forgotten or that just don't bother me anymore. However if I was to think about how secretive I can be with my sexuality, it is clear to see that I have took some of it to heart over time. As someone who is engaged to a man and has been in a long term relationship for the last few years, it's easy for people to assume you're straight and that doesn't particularly bother me but I don't seem to go out of my way to correct them either. That has made me realise I need to be more "out and proud" of my sexuality and I need to stop hiding behind what society assumes. I still don't think I will ever be someone who will be so confident to be like "Hi I'm Amy, I'm 25, from the north east, and I fancy men and women" because that level of self-assurance does not suit me, but I do want people to know that it is okay to be comfortable with your sexuality.

You don't need to change it or lie about it to fit into the mould others have made for you. You should feel confident and comfortable enough to be able to say "I like/don't like this" to some level and if people act differently towards you because of that (which I have experienced, particularly from female friends because you know, as I said, everyone is at risk because I'm a big sexual predator monster,) then they're simply not worth your time or friendship. Even if it's not a concern for you to make others aware of your sexuality (god only knows I kept mine to myself most of the time until I sat down to write this post), making sure you are happy within your own state of mind to say "I like this and that is fine" is such a relief and a positive sensation only you can provide for yourself. So be confident with yourself and your sexuality - it's yours to own and no one else can tell you any different.

- A.
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