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Why don’t women want to date bisexual men?

Too many women assume that bi men are secretly gay, cheaters or disease carriers

Lewis Oakley
Sunday 16 October 2022 13:02 BST
Emily Ratajkowski 'comes out as bisexual' on TikTok

I don’t need to check my emails to guess what’s there. It will be the latest in a long line of emails from bisexual men asking for advice. As one of the leading bisexual campaigners, I’ve become a go-to for men seeking guidance and support with managing life in the closet and the path towards coming out. It is an honour that they turn to me, but there is a limit to what I can do to help.

If you’re assuming the bulk of these emails come from young men, you’d be wrong. In fact, the majority come from older men. Often married. Men who buried their sexuality deep down and now find themselves married with kids, wondering if their wife loves them – or loves the straight character they’ve been playing all these decades.

Bisexual men are the most likely to be in the closet. One study finds that only 12 per cent of bisexual men are out and open about their sexuality. Similar studies show 82 per cent of bisexual men pretend to be heterosexual.

It’s not hard to see why bi men struggle to come out, and in truth, their fears are warranted. Whilst bisexuals have to deal with all the usual stigma other out LGBT+ groups do, they also face a unique struggle. Coming out actually makes them less desirable to a huge portion of the people they are trying to attract.

This is backed up by studies finding that 63 per cent of women wouldn’t date a man who has had sex with another man, and only 19 per cent of women would date a bisexual person.

The stats are an indicator, and what I’m hearing on the ground is very similar. One bisexual told me he has a friend who, for several years, received a ton of matches from women on dating apps when he was listed as straight. Then, when he figured out he was bisexual, he changed his status to bisexual on the app, and got no more matches from women.

One wonders how many gay men would come out if it meant a majority of gay men would then not find them attractive. Bi men find themselves in an odd predicament, as one bisexual asked me: “If most women wouldn’t date a bi guy, doesn’t coming out as bisexual really mean that you’re coming out as gay by default?”

If the statistics and the anecdotal evidence I’m being presented with from other bi men are to be believed, a natural question to ask is why? Why do so many women seem to have an issue with dating bisexual men?

I’ve experienced being rejected for my sexuality – even when I wasn’t actually interested in the person. I recall one instance at Pride in London where I was introduced to a straight woman covered in pride flags, who, upon learning of my sexuality, treated me to a 10-minute monologue on why she could never be with a bi man.

There is an important distinction to make here. No one should be forced to find anyone else attractive. If a bi guy just doesn’t make you tingly, that’s fine. However, in my experience, the issue lies with stigma. Bi men tell me that the women who have an issue with their sexuality are usually informed by prejudice, assuming that bi men are secretly gay, cheaters or disease carriers. That is discrimination and it’s wrong.

What I’ve found over the years is that many people are on board with equality, just as long as it doesn’t affect them personally. They’ll happily clap for a gay couple because it doesn’t affect them, but suggest dating a queer person? Then all of the prejudice they pretend isn’t there bubbles to the surface.

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I’ve been fascinated by the number of women who look at bisexual men as “not manly enough” for them to date. These can be the same women who warn of the dangers of toxic masculinity, not realising the role they are playing in enforcing it.

I’m apparently lucky. I’m an out bisexual man who found a woman that loves me for who I am. To us, my sexuality really isn’t a big deal – especially now we’re three kids in. I’m living proof that there are many lovely women out there who are open to dating bisexual men and an example to others that dating a bi man can work out.

My advice to many men who reach out to me is that if a woman doesn’t want to date you because you’re bi, it’s a good thing you found out sooner rather than later. You shouldn’t want to be with someone who has an issue with who you are.

I think we can do better though. I think it’s time to smash through the stigma that there is something wrong with bi men and get many straight women to consider the option that we’re just decent guys who think you’re fit.

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