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From an early age boys and girls are taught that relationships are successfully obtained by performing “complementary” roles of cat and mouse, pursuer and pursued, the actor and the acted-upon.
Consequently, girls learn to define romance as a noun — a subjective experience brought about by a man’s actions.
As a bisexual woman myself, I can’t deny that something about this stereotype that rings true; bi women do seem to romantically engage, or “end up” with men far more often than with woman.
But is this really because we prefer a life of white-picket simplicity and comfort?
And while the sheer number of available partners may explain some aspect of why bi women partner more frequently with men, the heteronormative socialization described above is almost certainly as responsible, if not more so, for this phenomenon.
But an even more insidious hurdle to a bi and lesbian pairing is plain, old fashioned misogyny — the disdain for the feminine vs. For instance, accusations of deceit are leveled at bi women as well as bi men, ostensibly insulting both groups equally: Bi women are actually straight, and bi men are actually gay.
I spent the first two decades of my life living as a closeted trans woman — a bisexual male to the outside world.2.
I have since transitioned, and now live as a bisexual woman.
Particularly with those who’ve known their orientation from an earlier age, and/or those who’ve had little, if any, experience dating men in their past.
But note that while the claims appear to be opposite from one another, the underlying fears are the same: In both cases a given bisexual is sure to end up with a male partner, as our society dictates that sexual relationships are only viewed as legitimate when they involve at least one man.
This leads to the perception that sex requires a penis to be considered “real” — or, put another way: only sex that involves a penis is seen as “threatening”.
While lesbian women are certainly bombarded with the same messages about romance as everyone else, I wonder if perhaps they don’t internalize them to the same extent.
The gay women I’ve dated don’t expect me to perform romance as a man would, because their relationships have never or rarely included men, and as a result they’ve created their own version of what romance looks like.
But I believe that it’s time to examine the pervasive, inner workings of heterosexual conditioning that, whether any of us in the bisexual community want to admit or not, have doomed so many bisexual/lesbian pairings to failure.