You are not someone’s fantasy
CREDIT: Instagram @kimkardashion
My sexual awakening was Shego from Kim Impossible, and yes, that is a cartoon. There was nothing inherently sexual about Shego; she was just an angry hot goth girl, who I absolutely resonated with.
Today, I am sure that young bisexuals’ sexual awakenings are not cartoons, but instead advertisements posted all over social media that do not just suggest sex; they ooze desire and profit heavily from queerbaiting. I hope that everyone saw the Skims advertisements with Megan Fox and Kourtney Kardashian. They were dressed in underwear, biting an apple between their mouths and literally feeding each other. These two women in relationships with men created this insanely homoerotic advertisement. It was hot (I can admit that); however, no one really understands how this affects other queer women.
Queerbaiting is in every form of media and has completely altered the way that society approaches lesbian relationships. They are not ostracized the way that gay men are. Instead of people covering their eyes and shouting slurs, they often are encouraged to keep kissing while people sexually harass them. This is especially true for feminine bisexual women, whose mere identities align with masculine fantasies.
Bisexual women are often mythicized.
They are not perceived as “really” gay by both straight men and women. Straight men assume that bisexual women are engaging in homosexual activity for their pleasure, and straight women like to use them to fulfill either their fantasies or their boyfriends’ fantasies.
Going to college, I felt like I needed my own “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide” except bisexual femme addition. Have you ever been to a party, and every straight female greets you with a kiss? Well, I have, and I felt extremely unprepared to endure the jungle that queerbaiting had made for me. I did not have the rules down for this world. Am I allowed to kiss back, or is that a breach of consent? If I tell her I am bi, will she think I am hitting on her? Can I have a crush on a friend? Am I still allowed to be a touchy person? These thoughts hurt, and bisexual women don’t deserve to be constantly put in an awkward position. Between the kisses from straight girls and the begging of straight men for threesomes, we don’t feel like people. We are used as a tool for sexual gain used to make men horny.
While some people’s (men who berate women for threesomes) intentions are nauseating, it is important to note that queerbaiting has made society hard to navigate for everyone. Think about Billie Eilish’s music video for her song “Lost Cause,” which was heavily queer coded, and her subsequent post on social media to promote the song with the caption, “I like girls.” Many were questioning whether this was queerbaiting or not, and to be honest, no one knows. This topic is extremely nuanced, and while queerbaiting is extremely prevalent, sexuality is personal and even celebrities do not need to explain themselves.
CREDIT: Youtube/Billie Eilish
My first “Bisexual School Survival Guide” tip would be that it is okay to explore your sexuality, and it is okay to not know what you identify as. Sexuality is fluid, and no one is entitled to an explanation as long as your exploration of your sexuality does not mislead other members of the LGBT community.
Labels are extremely tricky, debilitating and designed to package queerness into something straight people can digest.
With all the mythizing of lesbians and bisexuals, sexuality often feels like something you must continually prove to others and yourself, as if long periods of time between homosexual experiences or relationships with men would have an effect on your sexuality.
Moving forward, it is crucial to continue to ask for consent in all situations regardless of if someone is open about their sexual orientation. In reality, no one should be initiating contact without asking. On the other hand, if your physical-touch-love-language friend comes out as bisexual, do not immediately refuse to hug her just because she likes women.
As much as I wish there was a clear guide to bisexuality, there is not. Queerbaiting, lack of acceptance and the demonization of bisexuals from both heterosexual and homosexual people have created this puzzle to find an understanding of our own identity.Talk to your friends openly, set your own expectations, surround yourself with caring people that are willing to learn and you will feel empowered. Creating boundaries is hard, especially when you are still trying to understand yourself, but it is necessary to truly feel comfortable in your skin. I still struggle with feeling objectified, but every day I make sure my sexual desires are my desires and serve no one else.
Gwyneth Baker is an online staff writer for Rowdy Magazine. Her hobbies include karaoke, reading Ottessa Moshfegh, and practicing colorful eyeshadow looks.