Why can’t I kiss a girl in public without playing into a man’s sexual fantasies?

‘Pretend I’m not watching’ he said, rubbing his crotch

I remember the first time I was sexualised by a stranger for being bi.

I was sitting at a bus stop, holding hands with my girlfriend of the time. A man in his late 50s sat by us and said: “Don’t mind me, just kiss each other! Pretend I’m not watching.”. He started to rub his crotch and, of course, I was mortified. Anyone being leered at by a creepy stranger at a bus stop is going to feel uncomfortable. It was surreal, like a scene in a film.

What made it really upsetting was how our innocent, caring relationship was turned into something almost pornographic by this man, who knew nothing about us. Why did this random man think it was his right to sexualise a perfectly normal situation?

That was a few years ago, and although it hasn’t happened since, I still experience my sexuality being sexualised on a regular basis.

“You like girls? That’s hot.”

It seems that once I explain that I’m bisexual to a male stranger, I open an imaginary door to a make-believe world of orgies, sex toys and porn. I can go from being a ‘normal girl’ to being a promiscuous, suggestive, entirely sexual identity.

Someone who would cheat on their boyfriend with a girl.

Someone who would say ‘yes’ to a threesome in a heartbeat.

Someone who would sleep with anyone and everyone.

Of course, this isn’t the opinion everyone has towards bisexuals, but I’d say I’ve experienced it way too much for it to be OK.

I’d much rather be called ‘hot’ for my personality or even my actual appearance, than for the fact I’m attracted to girls. What makes it even more frustrating is that most of the guys that tell me that my sexuality is ‘hot’ or ‘sexy’ would actually be opposed to dating a bisexual girl. This is usually because, when it comes to a serious relationship, this overt sexuality and promiscuity is no longer desirable, but concerning.

And I’m constantly having to answer personal questions: “Will you end up gay or straight? Which do you prefer? Do you miss one when you’re not with the other?”

Probably the most annoying of all is, “Does your boyfriend know?”

While I understand that the media portrays bisexual women in a particular light, I’d also like to think my personality can be separated from this stereotype.

I have an obsession with unicorns – not exactly the epitome of a ‘femme fatale’. My sexuality is a part of my identity, but the stigma and image attached to bisexuality is not.

I value monogamy. Some people feel liberated by sexual freedom and expression – but being bisexual shouldn’t box me, or anyone else, into the idea of overt sexuality.

It’s pretty unbelievable how many inappropriate questions I get asked – and so flippantly too. Generally it’s pretty tasteless to ask someone such personal questions so brazenly, but if you’re bisexual I guess it’s okay to get asked which gender you prefer or how many threesomes you’ve had (which is none, by the way).

Maybe it can’t be helped that these stereotypes stay attached to bisexual women, but for the record: no we’re not attracted to everyone we see, no we’re not all comfortable with threesomes, and no I will not explain to you how two girls have sex.

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