I wanna make a post about this actually. It won’t be that polished, i just want to get it off my chest because it’s been weighing on me. As a bi woman who is looking to date other women, it’s really really disheartening and just frankly kind of abysmal out there, and i don’t think people, like... realize that? Online discourse is absolutely obsessed with politicizing bi women’s relationships and acting like it’s a personal failing to date a man and not a woman, people love to go “why don’t you just date women if you claim to like them/if you’re sick of men/etc?” but uh. Some of you actually make it very difficult for us. Let’s take a look at what the wlw dating scene looks like for bi women, shall we?
Let’s start with my own personal experience. I did not date in high school (wasn’t emotionally ready to date, was still figuring myself out, never wanted to date cishet boys/men anyway), but when i graduated and started college i wanted to put myself out there and meet new people. I tried dating apps even though i didn’t like them, since that was popular, as well as talking in-person. When i was open about being bi right off the bat, i got zero interest from women except the occasional unicorn hunter couple or straight girl looking for friends. Mostly i got attention from cishet men who either fetishized me for being bi or who were nice but extremely boring and treated me like i was the manic pixie dream girl who was gonna make their lives interesting (one such guy literally told me his fav movie was Scott Pilgrim, so u can imagine). The few bi women i knew were just figuring themselves out and weren’t ready to date women yet, so i ended up more as someone they thought was cool/went to for advice, which i didn’t mind at all since i’ve been in the same spot and i found it flattering.
When i didn’t advertise myself as bi, it was a whole different story. After leaving my small conservative town and re-embracing the gender nonconformity i’d tried to give up to be accepted, i definitely looked gay. And idk if y’all know this but i’m hot. I’m hot, i’m fashionable, i’m smart, i’m interesting, and girls were definitely interested in me. Until i had the inevitable “i’m bi, i hope that’s not a dealbreaker” conversation. It usually was. That went one of several ways.
If i was lucky, the person just kinda ghosted me after losing interest upon learning i was bi, probably assuming that meant i was “experimenting” in some college phase and was a waste of their time. If i was less lucky, i got to experience a tirade about how i “led them on” and made them think they were getting someone “actually gay” and i should have “been honest with them from the beginning” so they could make an “informed decision” about my worthiness as a potential partner, et cetera. Occasionally someone didn’t entirely write me off the second they learned i was bi, but they suddenly “weren’t looking for anything serious right now” and wanted something casual. Which i knew was not true because i made it clear with people from the start that i was not comfortable with hookups and wanted to genuinely connect with people, so i didn’t interact with people who were looking for casual sex.
Now let’s look at what being a bi woman on social media is like.
When interacting with wlw blogs on tumblr, i constantly run into stuff like “i need more friends/mutuals who also like girls, if you’re a lesbian like this post” “it’s so hard to meet girls irl, anyone know any lesbian dating apps?” “i love being a butch and i love femmes i want a lesbian gf so bad” “i love women i can’t wait to be married to another lesbian” “i need a gf why aren’t there any lesbians in my town” and so on.
Which is all very innocuous except that wlw blogs are framing “woman who likes woman” as synonymous with “lesbian,” and acting as though bi women don’t exist, or if they do they’re not even considered as potential friends or partners. I don’t have screenshots of these because i tend not to follow butch/femme or wlw blogs that erase bi women more than i can overlook, but i guarantee you they’re everywhere. If you follow wlw blogs you will run into them even when you actively try to avoid them. I know because i’ve tried. And honestly i shouldn’t have to “prove” that i’m telling the truth about my own experiences.
It is a problem if some lesbians want to be with someone who shares their particular sexuality and experiences? No, of course not. Gay and bi people are both allowed to feel that way as long as it’s not out of bigotry. Is it a problem when this is the general attitude and language throughout wlw spaces, which results in bi women being erased/not seen as good enough partners, and internalizing the idea that they’re not good enough to be with women because of that? Yes. Seven years of being in online wlw spaces has taught me that it’s the latter.
Now there’s a whole niche on youtube where wlw/lesbian youtubers make videos about their thoughts on bi women and why they would or wouldn’t (usually wouldn’t) date us. I watched a lot of these in high school when i found them while searching for more positive and helpful resources. Partly out of morbid curiosity and partly out of self esteem issues from internalized biphobia that i guess i felt like exacerbating.
[image ID: a screenshot of a youtube video by Arielle Scaracella titled “What lesbians think about bisexuals.” The video is paused on a woman’s face, she is white with straight brown hair, wearing a white t shirt. End ID].
[image ID: a screenshot of a youtube video by Aaliya Clark titles “5 reasons why studs don’t date bisexual women reaction.” The video is paused on a woman’s face, she is black with her hair braided back and is wearing glasses and a beige t shirt. End ID].
(Unfortunately i couldn’t get a screenshot of the original video from Studology101 because the channel has been revamped and it was deleted, but you can watch the whole thing through this video).
I’ll save you all the trouble of watching these, they all say more or less the same thing and it’s all easy to guess.
bi women might be seeing a woman and a guy at the same time/will likely cheat on you
it’s just weird and gross and a turnoff that they like dick men
bi women are more likely to have STDs (both from being with men at all and the fact that bi women probably sleep around)
generalizing all bi women from one bad experience
bi women tend to lie (including lying about being a lesbian to maliciously trick lesbians into dating a bi woman)
bi women make lesbians insecure bc they feel like they’re competing with men
bi women are just trying to get you to have threesomes with men
bi women aren’t serious about relationships with women and just use it as a sexual adventure, but will lead lesbians on, knowing they will have real feelings for another woman and leveraging that for sex
There’s another video i can’t find because it’s been a while since i watched these kinds of things, but the gist is “things lesbians DO like about bi women” and the reasons are essentially that bi women are a good ego boost because they’ve usually only had crappy sex with cishet men, so they’re easy to please and will make you feel good about yourself. Also that you can avoid the awkwardness of dating your friend’s ex/everyone you know is your ex because the gay community is so small, since bi women are never part of the local gay scene and only socialize in cishet circles/live cishet lives.
I’m not on twitter or tiktok so no screenshots or links but i have heard enough of the bullshit that gets posted on there to know that i want nothing to do with them. They’re full of takes such as the famous “bi women are toxic because they have man residue” thing, as well as “bi women who want to date women are fetishizing lesbian relationships,” what more do you need to know really?
I must reiterate, these are examples of things i have encountered consistently throughout my 7 years of searching for wlw resources and community online, from the age of 14 until now. So it seems like overall the wlw community has one of several attitudes towards the idea of dating bi women:
1. it’s just not even given a thought. Bi women aren’t considered at all, as if they don’t exist. They are lumped in with straight women as complete outsiders to discussions of sex and relationships between women.
2. bi women do exist but are part of the same community and social circles as cishet women, are always cis and feminine, always date cishet men and do not have relationships with women or participate in the LGBT community whatsoever. If you do end up dating one she will definitely be questioning and using you to experiment with women, and will not want a relationship or be fulfilling as a partner.
3. bi women are not worth dating, they are disgusting sluts and the fact that they like men is a huge turn off, they cannot be trusted, they always lie or cheat, they’re trying to coerce you into threesomes with men, they do not value relationships with women and the feelings they claim to have for women mean nothing. If you do somehow end up dating a bi woman it will be a horrible experience and leave you traumatized by her bisexuality.
4. bi women are great! For hookups. It’s sooo easy to make them happy bc they’ve only ever dated cishet men and are used to being treated like shit so you can do the bare minimum and they’ll love you, also you’ll get to gloat about how much better you are at sex than straight men. Not someone you’d build an actual relationship with though, you want a woman who’s actually gay if you want to be able to settle down and have something real.
This is what i have consistently encountered from the time i was 14 and realized i was bi. For the past 7 years as a bi woman searching for community and acceptance, i have continued to see these attitudes everywhere. I have not seen anyone, on any public platform or in real life, speak positively about relationships with bi women. I have literally never, in all my years in the LGBT community, seen myself/specifically bisexual women spoken about as desirable, especially not to other women. I have seen a few posts from other bisexuals talking about how healing it was to date another bi person after suffering from severe internalized biphobia as a result of their treatment by cishets and the LGBT community. The bi bloggers i follow (and a bunch of very generic positivity posts that don’t change anything) are some of the only times i’ve seen anyone talking about bisexuals as valuable.
Sure, there are occasional semi-popular posts about how bi women and lesbians are one community and we should stop creating false divides between our experiences as wlw, etc etc. But those posts remain a theory and not a practice (and are also strongly contested by other users). Most of the bloggers who make them, who i’ve followed and interacted with for a while, still only ever talk openly about dating other gay women in their personal lives, never about positive experiences with or desire to date bi women. It feels very much like that message is meant for other people, like “not me though, i’ve never dated a bi woman, but it’s nothing personal i totally think other people should.”
When the only people who express interest in us are (usually cishet) men, is it any surprise that’s who many of us date? Sure a lot of them fetishize us, but... it’s kinda nice to feel wanted at all? Bi people constantly have the gender of our partner used as a measuring stick for our political views and level of oppression, but we’re just looking for someone who wants us back and will care about us, just like everyone else looking for a partner. This kind of thing from other wlw makes us feel like we are completely undesirable to women and undeserving of them because we’re bi, and any attempt to date a woman would be met with disgust. Both towards our bisexuality itself, and towards our audacity for thinking we could ever be good enough for a woman.
And people have the gall to publicly complain that they don’t think bi women put enough effort into dating women? When you’re the ones who won’t fucking date us? Which women do you expect us to date then, each other? Sure, we would, but we get called homophobic bi separatists who think we’re too good for lesbians if we do that. Also, “bi women can just date each other in order to be feminists while not contaminating lesbians with their man germs” is so clearly bad i shouldn’t have to say it. And obviously any time we date men that’s the wrong choice as far as everyone else is concerned, even if they’re bi. Plus then we’re still elitist bi separatists. If you want us to date women so bad but think you, personally, are too good to settle for a bi woman then shut the fuck up about our relationships forever.
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