Male bisexuality: Why the stigma?

The concept of sexuality should be very simple in this day and age. We’re past the old buggery laws and discrimination in employment, and some amazing civil rights movements over the decades have taken place in the LGBT community in Britain. However, as far as attitudes are concerned, there is still a very long way to go. Sexuality isn’t just a binary of gay or straight and it never has been: preferences are just as diverse as the human race itself. This much is clear, so why is bisexuality, especially male bisexuality, viewed as suspicious and irrelevant?

The answer is in the norms engrained within the fabric of our society, and the way the sexuality of others is viewed. For instance: female sexuality is often fetishised for the pleasure of heterosexual men. You only have to look on YouTube for the ‘Real Lesbians React to Lesbian Porn’ to see that there is a stark difference between ‘lesbian porn’ and porn made with lesbians in mind. ‘Girl on girl’ action, and the idea that bisexual women are simply ‘curious’ has been branded as something ‘sexy’ in the media i.e. something that appeals to men. Male bisexuality and even homosexuality often fetches the opposite reaction from the public, purely because it can’t be fetishised for heterosexual men, and that says a lot about what is ingrained in our society. If your preferences don’t tickle the fancy of a straight man, you are considered irrelevant in some way. Even worse, if you want the option of both male and female partners, you are deviating against the ‘heterosexual norm’, and branded as ‘greedy’ or encouraged to ‘just choose one’.

The stigma towards male bisexuality could also stem from the fact that same-sex relations between women has never been illegal, while same-sex relations between men wasn’t decriminalised until the 1960s, with gay marriage only becoming legal this year, and is still met with a surprising amount of opposition. However, bisexuality is not a phenomenon or a new revelation to the masses, and is certainly not a state of being ‘confused’; centuries of bisexuality has proved this. In Britain we have had several known bisexual Kings, and although attitudes towards sexuality have been different throughout history, the differences in the desires of human beings have not changed. The Spartans saw homosexuality as something to be celebrated and revered, and in Ancient Rome, emperors were considered to be unnatural if they only slept with women, but now it seems as though the reverse is true and a man sleeping with both genders is stigmatised.

As a population, we should stop telling bisexuals that they’re ‘confused’ or ‘greedy’, regardless of their gender. Bisexuality, whether it be male or female, should not be dismissed as a ‘choice’ or an ‘experiment’. Provided only legal, consenting adults are involved, nobody’s sexuality is invalid. We’re so obsessed with who people go to bed with that we’re forgetting that it’s none of our business.

 Eleanor Healing

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