I Might Be Bisexual
Bisexual people have the capacity to love people of either gender. This can include physical, sexual, and emotional attraction to and/or relationships with men and women. Over time in life, a bisexual person might feel equally attracted to men and women or to one gender in preference to the other. The strength of these attractions may change over time.
Being bisexual does not define either ones lifestyle or sexual behavior. Bisexual people may be monogamous or abstinent or may have multiple sexual partners, just like heterosexual (straight) and lesbian and gay people. Many people are bisexual and bisexuality cuts across distinctions of race/ethnicity, gender, age, class, ability, and religious affiliation.
A bisexual person may have one committed relationship that lasts for decades. Many bisexual people have no sexual relationships or have these relationships with people of only one gender; yet, they still consider themselves bisexual. Some people have relationships with people of their own and the other gender, yet do not identify as bisexual. It all comes down to what makes you feel most comfortable and what you perceive yourself to be.
If you are bisexual, you are not alone, and you are likely to meet bisexual people just about anywhere you go.
How Do I Know If I'amBisexual?
Determining your sexual orientation can be highly confusing. Many young adults feel a lot of pressure to choose - to define themselves as being heterosexual (straight) or homosexual (gay). You might feel that you do not fit either of these categories, and you may notice that you feel connected to and have attractions to both your own and the other gender. These feelings may indicate you will identify as bisexual. Keep in mind, however, that you do not have to prove you are bisexual. There is no test for bisexuality nor do you have to have sex in an effort to speed up figuring things out for yourself! Don't worry about not knowing for sure. Sexuality develops over time, and you should feel no pressure to identify in any particular way.
Am I Normal?
Yes, it is perfectly natural for some people to be bisexual and to feel attracted to people of each gender. Sexual feelings towards women and men are perfectly natural and normal for bisexual people. In the United States, society does not encourage bisexuality, and that can make accepting your bisexuality more difficult. But just like lesbians, gays, and straight people, you are perfectly normal.
What Is It Like to Be Bisexual?
This is a difficult question to answer. There is no particular lifestyle attached to bisexuality. Bisexual people come in all shapes and sizes, from all sorts of occupations, and with all levels of education. Bisexuals may or may not be in relationships. Your sexual orientation does not determine who you are or what you do. You may choose to spend your time and energy on friendships or studies. Bisexuals may, however, suffer discrimination or violence because of misperceptions and prejudice from people who are straight, gay, or lesbian. This is why organizations work for bisexual rights and to alleviate misperceptions about bisexual people.
Whom Should I Tell?
Coming to terms with your own sexuality can be very difficult. In fact, the hardest person you may ever have to tell is yourself! Only tell others when you feel you are ready. It's not always easy. Some people might be very receptive, while others might not be able to handle the information as well as you had hoped they would. Sometimes it might be easier to talk about your sexuality with someone you know will understand, such as a friend, sibling, parent, guidance counselor or other trusted adult. You may also find someone to talk with through the Internet or at youth groups. Reaching out can help ensure you have support as you talk about your sexuality. You might be surprised at the relief you will feel when you know others understand you.
How Can I Avoid HIV, Other STDs and Involvement in Unwanted Pregnancy?
Abstinence from sexual intercourse is the surest way to avoid unwanted pregnancy, HIV, and other STDs. Many young people - gay, straight, or bisexual -choose activities other than sex to show affection, such as hugging, kissing, talking, and massage.
If you become involved in any sexual relationship-- be responsible and protect yourself and your partner. Use condoms. Remember to always use water based lubricants with condoms. Oil based lubricants can break down latex. Remember that blood-to-blood contact is the most direct route for HIV transmission. Sharing equipment or needles - for using drugs, taking medications, or piercing or tattooing the body - is dangerous since blood may be left on the used equipment or needles.
How Do I Learn to Like Myself?
Coming to terms with your bisexuality can be difficult. However, many people have difficulty learning to like themselves, regardless of their sexual orientation. Many people also have difficulty understanding bisexuality, and some bisexual people may try to hide their bisexuality. In an effort to numb the effects of societal stigma, bisexual youth may turn to drugs and alcohol and may even attempt suicide because their situation seems unbearable. Millions of other bisexual people - just like you - lead successful, happy lives. It helps to be informed and to know that you aren't alone. Read about bisexuality. Learn what it means to be bisexual. Make an effort to meet other bisexuals - they can be a valuable resource to build your self-confidence.
Of course, at All Under One Roof Youth Centers, you will find many people who are very open and willing to talk about these issues with you. There are many programs and activities specifically for young people who feel just like you do.
Just remember that there are bisexual people wherever you are. Sooner or later you will meet someone who feels some of the same things you do and has had similar experiences. Realizing that you are not the only bisexual person will make liking yourself a lot easier.