How bi do you have to be to be bi?

I think I’m bi, but I’m not quite sure what to do about it. I’m in a long-term relationship, and my boyfriend already knows about it and is okay with it. We’re both just not sure what this means, or how (if?) I should go about exploring it. I’m not sure if I should come out to anyone else or how. I’ve heard that the LGBT community can be pretty biphobic (despite it being in the acronym). Moreover, when does someone start calling themselves bi? Like, is there a line you cross at some point where society deems you a ‘true’ bisexual?

You don’t have to do anything to be bi. That’s a really super important part of sexual orientation. It’s something that you are, not something that you do. You could be bisexual your whole life and never have a same-sex experience. Granted, that sounds pretty unfortunate, if women are something that you are interested in.

I remember before I had any same-sex experiences that I wasn’t sure if I was actually into women or just into the idea of being into women. For me, there was validation in enjoying the experiences I had with women. It helped me understand more about myself and my sexuality to explore those scenarios. In some way, it was kind of like kissing a guy for a first time, or having penetrative sex for the first time. Whenever you explore some new part of yourself you are discovering what that part of yourself means. You’re learning how you want to exercise that part of yourself. Knowing that you have that interest is cool and fun and fine and you don’t have to take that any further right now if you don’t want to.

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There is no line you cross-over to become bi. While I believe that many people are bisexual, I think that sexuality is a lot more complex than that. I think that even bisexuality can be super constricting. Like you said, what does it even mean to be bi? How do you do it right? Can you lose your bi-card if you do something a bi person wouldn’t? I think it’s fucked up that we put our gender and sexuality into boxes, but that’s just part of being human. We like to define things, we like to feel that we fit somewhere. But we cannot possibly actually ever fit into boxes that aren’t real to begin with.

So you’re in a relationship with this guy and it sounds like you’re comfortable enough to talk to him about your sexuality. Are you happy with the way your relationship is right now, or do you feel like now that you’ve acknowledged this part of yourself that you need to explore it? Sometimes people will open their relationships partially to allow for this kind of exploration. I think this can be a good way to explore while maintaining the relationship that you’re already in.

If you don’t want to explore right away, don’t feel pressured to. If an experience presents itself, you can always discuss that with your partner when the time arises. There may be a point later in your life if you’re not together that you can explore it solo. There are a lot of ways it could happen.

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As for coming out or taking on a new identity, thats entirely up to you. I both understand and am confused by the need to define ones sexuality in a way that is easy to project to others. There is no right or wrong answer.

  • I’m bicurious.
  • I’m bisexual.
  • I’m straight but I think I may like women and am exploring that.
  • I’m a 2 on the kinsey scale.
  • I’m flexible.
  • I’m heteroflexible.
  • I’m sexually fluid.
  • I’m not really sure what I am.
  • I like people?
  • I like women in this way and men in this way
  • I am in a hetero relationship right now
  • I am exploring.

My best advice would be to do what feels right and natural for you. Don’t feel pressured to find a label that fits you but be open to creating one that does feel right. Don’t let anyone else tell you that bisexuality has to look a certain way, because it doesn’t. Some people will be upset if you say you’re bisexual if you don’t fit their picture of what bisexuality is, but you have to be real and honest to yourself. It is easy to be put on edge by sexuality when for so many people it is their identity and it is their life. For others, it’s simply a facet of who they are, something that is confusing and complex and something that requires time to discover.

Try not to view the journey as something that has a fixed point of arrival. Instead, view your sexuality as something that is constantly evolving and constantly open for surprise. Best of luck.

Have a question about sex or love? Submit to the top by hitting ask advice and I’ll answer it on my blog.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Warren says:

    What an incredibly sensitive and intelligent response.

    Like

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