The bisexual caricature

Nothing is hotter than a bisexual woman.
Not only do they like having sex with men, but they might just make out with a girl before they fulfill your every fantasy, right?

Where did this caricature come from? Each letter in the LGBTQIA spectrum has its own struggles that it must face, and a personal struggle of mine is with the misconception that a bisexual woman is either a hypersexualized porn star or an experimental college girl that you could never bring home for Thanksgiving. Lord knows she would probably hit on mum and dad, the saucy little minx.

I feel as though many people have a skewed idea of what it means to be in a relationship with a bisexual person, and I will speak from my own experience as a bisexual woman.

The guys I have dated who have learned about my orientation usually say it’s hot and that it would be totally cool for me to experiment with girls outside of the relationship.

Emily deKanter is a senior communication arts major from Boston.
Emily deKanter is a senior communication arts major from Boston.

What many people fail to understand about bisexuality is that even though bisexual people may be attracted to both genders, it doesn’t make them incapable of being in love with just one person, male or female.

I don’t feel as if a part of me is unfulfilled if I am in a relationship, and I don’t need to sleep with people outside of it in order to feel whole. If I am in a relationship with a man and am hooking up with women on the side, I see that as cheating.

I am careful about with whom I choose to share my body, and if I decide to let a person see that part of me, I am going to have an emotional attachment. It’s not just me mindlessly using another person for my own pleasure. That wouldn’t be fair to me. It wouldn’t be fair to the person I am dating, and it certainly wouldn’t be fair to the third person I am involving in my reckless attempts to be “whole.”

Due to these recurring misconceptions, I eventually got to the point where I was so uncomfortable with the implications of being a bisexual woman that decided to identify as “queer” instead. I could be bisexual under the umbrella term of queer without dealing with the pornographic implications of bisexuality, without having to make excuses to parents or friends or significant others.

However, I started to feel like I was drowning in a deep pool of orientations, not feeling truly connected with other people or myself. Queer” was a safety net for me when I felt I couldn’t express who I really was.
Screw it. I am a bisexual woman. The perceptions that people have of my orientation are nobody’s problem but theirs.

Please don’t tell me that it’s hot that I’m bisexual. Please don’t ask how many women I have slept with or how many orgies I have been in.
Please look past the fact that I find men and women attractive. Ask me about what play I’m in. Ask me about my weird obsession with my stuffed manatee. Ask why I binge-watched Downton Abbey last night instead of doing my homework. I think you’ll find that there is way more to a person than who he or she happens to be attracted to.

With the new year upon us, here’s a good resolution for everyone: before you make a comment about someone else’s sexuality, think about how you might feel if someone did the same to you.

Your bisexual brothers and sisters are all around you on this campus, some out of the closet, many too afraid to be stigmatized by the implications of the orientation.

If someone trusts you enough to come out to you — believe me, that is a huge deal, congrats on being a chosen one — try not to box the person into the very confines they are hoping to avoid.