This is Real Sex, Real Answers: An advice column that understands that sex and sexuality is complicated, and worth chatting about openly and without stigma — and that, sometimes, that means reaching out to a stranger on the internet for help. Rachel Charlene Lewis is a long-time reader and writer within the sexual wellness space, and is never not talking about sexuality. So why not join the conversation? Just one of the many unfair, damaging things that marginalized people have to deal with is constantly navigating the space between being our most honest, truest selves and not wanting to feed into stereotypes.
As a proud and loud about it bisexual woman, I often find young queer or questioning women in my online inboxes — mostly asking if bisexual is the right label for them to use and describe their experiences of attraction. The definition of bisexuality as well as other bisexual umbrella identities, like pansexuality and omnisexuality is as varied as bisexual experience itself. Bisexuality, in short, is the attraction to multiple genders. The Orientation, Behavior, and Identity Model is a useful tool for sussing out how those three aspects of our sexuality can be mixed and matched in a thousand different ways. One woman can experience attraction to multiple genders orientation ; have historically only dated men, but fantasizes about having sex with women behavior ; and call herself straight identity. Another woman can have the same orientation and behavior, but call herself bisexual.
And the truth is, for many of us myself included! When asked to place themselves on a scale, almost a quarter of Brits identified as something other than percent straight. Among year olds it was almost half.
Someone bisexual is a person who is attracted to both men and women. Someone straight is a person who is attracted to the opposite sex, more or less. So how do you know if you are bi or straight? Well, are you attracted to both women and men, or just the opposite sex? This is where things get complicated for some, including me.