Sexy Sunday: bisexuality. (We will also count this as a myth-busting Monday post, in which I help dismantle harmful myths around sexuality.)
I was having a conversation with someone (for the sake of this post, we will keep her identity at that) about sexuality counseling and the importance of sexuality for well-being. She whispers to me: “I was taught in a college psychology class that bisexuality isn’t real. Is it?” She’s maybe in her late twenties, so this experience in college was relatively recent.
I was glad she asked me – she perceived me as a safe person that would respect and consider her question. But, Y’all, this is why we need sexuality education, counseling, and therapy, provided by trained individuals across all levels of education, when it is easy (common?) to spew misinformation that then perpetuates a lack of understanding, even harm.
Yes, bisexuality is real. In fact, bisexuals are the largest group within the LGBTQ community (https://www.hrc.org/resources/bisexual-faq). Part of the problem is not letting people identify themselves, when and if they feel called, and choosing the terms of those definitions. One of the first things I learned as a Sexual Health Alliance student – if someone tells you they are gay (or kinky or _____ fill in the blank), ASK THEM what THEY mean. Don’t make assumptions based in your own experience or bias. If someone tells you they are bi, believe them.
A fabulous podcast that breaks down the stigma and confusion around bisexuality can be found here (Dr. Justin Lehmiller – Sex and Psychology): https://www.lehmiller.com/podcast/tag/bisexuality They discuss how bisexuals are excluded from queer spaces (ex.for being not gay “enough”).
While I believe in self-identifying and the importance of finding safe space, creating hard labels and spaces can also exclude to the detriment of others, perpetuating bias, conflict, gate-keeping, and even harm. It is our responsibility to learn as much as we can about one another, to ask before we assume, to let people self-identify (gender, sexuality, and other identifiers), to expand our capacity to consider other perspectives, to not invalidate someone’s identity or experience based on our lack of education or bias, and to be able to sit with and appreciate difference rather than expecting assimilation or deference to our assumptions.
Interested in joining in on conversations around sexuality?, join us for Pleasure Cafes and Let’s Talk About Sex Book Club – email me to rsvp (firstname.lastname@example.org) Wishing you all an expansive and sexy Sunday. #EqualityForAll #SexualWellbeing #LGBTQCommunity #SexualityCounseling #SexualityEducation
Written by Dr. Allison Mitch, copyright protected, please cite accordingly. Originally posted to social media on 2/21/21. Picture is from Pexels.
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