What does 'bisexual' mean to you and to others?

Part 1, Part 2 of Guest Article by Rob

I'm going to answer some very common questions for you.

If you have further questions you would like me to answer, please write to Elly in confidence and I'll include the answers on this page.

What does bisexual mean?
What is its definition?

Forget any dictionary or internet based answers, simply put: it means the sexual attraction to members of both male and female sex.

I think I might be bisexual?

Are you simply attracted to men and women? Don’t complicate things by trying to over-analyse or justify it yourself. If you have those feelings (I am sure you know the ones I mean) for members of both sexes, then you probably are. Does it really matter? You choose which feelings you act upon.

I don't believe there's such a thing as bisexuality?

Text. Do not be afraid of exploring your sexuality, fantasies and desires. Embrace them, love them. Make them yours. They are part of who you are.

With respect for a fellow human being!

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

However in 1948 a study by Alfred Kinsey (Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male) identified that 46% of the male population had engaged in both sexual activities with males and females. Kinsey identified a scale of 0 (heterosexual) -6 (homosexual).

I am cynical as to how detailed this study was and the degree of accuracy, however I know for a fact, through close friends that I have opened up to and vice versa, that there are more people between Kinsey’s 1-5 grading than I ever thought likely.

Is the scale of 0-6 right, hard to say, I always used to say 1-10 before I knew about Kinsey’s work.

Isn't this just an excuse for being gay?

WRONG! I have just covered this!

However time and time again I hear this expression. I cannot emphasise enough that being bisexual is not a choice that someone makes, it’s who you are I strongly believe you were born that way.

There are different degrees of acceptance to different people. Whilst primarily being attracted to members of the opposite sex, some may just see a member of the same sex and find a physical attraction that stimulates them. Others may become more physically involved to different extents. 

I am totally straight. I just like to play around with mates occasionally?

I suspect you’re in denial!

If you are attracted to mates of the same sex, whether it be all the time or occasionally, then you are entering the realms of homosexual behaviour.

If you are attracted to the opposite sex too then yes you are bisexual.

If you are only attracted to members of the same sex then you are gay.

Some of my friends who class themselves as totally straight have told me of their own homosexual experiences. Using an argument of experimentation during their teenage years, one told me how he and a friend regularly used to “help each other out”, as he put it.

It really should not matter, you are human and you are the way you are. It does take some people a lot longer to accept it than others though, and I suspect that some never manage to handle it.

Should I tell my partner, wife or husband that I'm bisexual?

I don't really feel qualified to answer that question. All I can say is that you may be in for a rough ride - at least in the early stages.

Have a look at Elly's article - you'll know then what to expect if you decide to tell your partner.

Remember though, you have the right to be able to 'be yourself'. However, most unfortunately, you may have to consider the laws in your country when you contemplate the consequences of your 'coming out'.

I feel so lonely. Shall I tell my friends?

This is a huge gamble! It would be a very big and brave step to take.

I know of a couple of horror stories where things went terribly wrong for people. I’m very fortunate that most of my friends were amazing. All but a couple have given me the most fantastic support and made my life so much easier to deal with.

I would argue that anyone not treating and respecting you as an individual is not a real friend. Real friends will help and support each other.

I keep getting comments from people about being gay!

Life is cruel. I have been through this.

Suffering bullying from people knocks your self confidence. Even as I type this I am getting flash backs of some of the horrid things that happened. There is no easy answer in how to deal with this.

If you are not gay, lesbian or bi then you can challenge this through company management, disciplinary or grievance processes.

If you are gay, lesbian or bi then to stand up and challenge might not be so easy for fear of actually outing yourself.

Depending where in the world you are you could find criminal offences being committed against you. Some countries have a very strict view on discrimination and offences can result in prison sentences for the perpetrators.

The total opposite gives us countries where homosexuality of any form is illegal and can result in the death penalty. I am not going to go down the road of giving my view point on both the hypocrisy and evil that I think societies like that cause.

Whatever you do, make sure you have support around you if you can.

Img and quote: Find a path in life in which you can be true to yourself

Further help and support

Where can I learn more?

I really hope this has helped to provide an honest and basic view point on what is a complete headache at times.

If you want to learn more then I can suggest you look at articles on the Kinsey Scale. There’s much more reading that can be done through organisations such as Stonewall. 

I'm really not coping. Where can I find further help and support?

Depending on your specific need and where you live:

  • Consider talking to your doctor
  • Find out if there are any relevant support groups in your area
  • See links further down

Remember, we are all human - gay, lesbian, straight, bi, transexual. Let's just all treat each other with respect.


Part 1, Part 2 of Guest Article by Rob

Related articles

Other helpful resources

Open University Report - Equality gap and mental health problems in bisexuals
Telegraph article ref Tom Daley

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