This is maybe the central point of confusion that causes all of the misunderstandings above. People really, really want sexuality to be a black-and-white thing with neat categories everyone can fit into. So even if somebody is prepared to accept that bisexuality is a thing, they want it to mean exactly what the name says: that they equally prefer both genders. But that's rarely the case.
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Good thing, otherwise every time at the bar would be like Sophie's Choice.
"In my experience, most bisexuals tend to lean more one way than the other," says Jon. "Without going into too much detail, there's a very specific set of things I like to do ... given the option between a man and a woman, I will almost always choose a woman, and when it comes time to settle down and get married, I know 100 percent that it will be with a woman." Beth agrees: "I definitely prefer guys for sex and relationships. I don't know if I'd ever date a girl, I guess it would depend on the girl in question. I'll for sure hook up with a woman, but dating, I don't know how likely that will ever be."
And right now, despite everything explained above, a whole lot of you just said to yourselves, "Oh, so both of them are really straight." It's almost impossible to get past for most people, because we so desperately want to find out what orientation a person "really" is -- despite having known for 60-plus years that sexual orientation is a spectrum. "You tell people that you're bi, and they'll ask, 'but which one do you prefer?'" says Beth. "And I'll obviously say that I prefer guys, and they'll reply, 'OK, then you're straight.'"
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"At which point I'll straighten something else out."
Take the example of a woman who wrote into Slate's Dear Prudence advice column, asking for advice after coming to terms with her bisexuality and telling her husband. Shockingly, Prudence tells her that, since that she wasn't planning on leaving her husband or pursuing any relationships with women, it's really just a fetish and she should keep it to herself. The idea that her orientation could be bisexual, while remaining monogamous with one gender, was just impossible for the writer to conceive. But maybe Beth explains it best: "When I was a virgin, nobody told me, 'you haven't fucked a guy yet, how can you be straight?'"
When he's not inventing new slang terms for bisexuals, Chris writes for his website and tweets.
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For more insider perspectives, check out 5 Realities Of Being Gay In A Country Where It's Illegal and 6 Weird Ways the World Looks Different When You're Asexual.