Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about bisexuality. If there are questions and answers you think should be on this list but are not please contact us so we can add them.
What is bisexuality?
A person might consider themselves bisexual if they are attracted to more than one gender and/or they have had intimate experiences with more than one gender and/or they identify as bisexual. Bisexual attraction can involve romantic and/or sexual feelings towards people of more than one gender.
Is bisexuality very common?
The most recent statistics on bisexuality in Australia from the second Australian Study of Health and Relationships suggest that 1.7% of Australian adults identify as bisexual, while 10.1% report bisexual attraction and 9.4% have had intimate experiences with more than one gender.
How long has bisexuality existed?
A very long time! Bisexuality is a feature of human experience across cultures and time periods. Evidence of bisexual behaviour and bisexual attraction has been found as far back as ancient times. Having a bisexual identity is a newer phenomenon, only occurring in Western Culture since the mid-1900's. Many bisexual people talk about how positive it has been for them finding and applying a 'bisexual' identity label as a way of solidifying their feelings and connecting them to a broader group of people with similar experiences.
What does bi+ mean?
Bi+ is an inclusive term that refers to people who are attracted to more than one gender regardless of their sexual identity or sexual behaviour.
What is pansexuality?
Pansexuality can have various definitions depending on an individual experiences of attraction. It is commonly described as an identity label that people who are 'gender blind' with regards to attraction might use. In essence it is about being attracted to traits and characteristics other than gender and gender being of little importance when selecting a romantic or sexual partner.
Why are there so many identity labels for bisexual people?
Bisexual attraction is diverse with some people equally attracted to all genders and others having various strengths of attractions to one gender or another. For this reason bi+ people tend to experience their bisexuality very differently from one another. As such, an ever-growing number of identity labels have emerged as bisexual people seek to more accurately define their experiences of attraction and sexual behaviour. Some common bi+ identities include: bisexual, pansexual, queer, bi-romantic, heteroflexible, homoflexible, fluid and bi-curious.
Can bisexual people be monogamous?
Yes! Many bisexual people choose to live in monogamous relationships.
Are people still bisexual if they are in a monogamous relationship?
Absolutely! Bisexuality is about attraction, identity and sexual experience or any combination of these. People can and do maintain a bisexual identity and bisexual attraction even though they are not having sexual experiences with more than one gender.
Can a person be bisexual if they have never had sex or they have only been intimate with one gender?
Yes! Think of this scenario - a 12 year old boy develops a crush on a girl at his school. He has never felt this way before. We don't then say to this boy, how would you know if you like girls when you've never even kissed one? Hopefully this helps to illustrate that people know what their attractions are without having ever acted on them!
Is bisexuality just a phase?
No. While any sexual identity or orientation can change over time, research suggests that a bisexual identity is as stable (with some studies suggesting it is even more stable) than other common sexual orientations.
I think I might be bisexual, what should I do?
You have already made one very positive step: you are here reading this and learning more about bisexuality. Many people describe finding their way to a bisexual identity as a long and difficult journey. Only you will know what is right for you. If you are are struggling with this and would like some support and someone to talk to that understands and can help you, contact us to make an appointment with our specialised counsellors. See our support page for more details.
My partner is bisexual, what should I do?
Learning that your partner is bisexual can be a lot to take in initially. It is important first to know that while bisexuality is rarely discussed and can seem invisible in our society, one in ten people have bisexual attraction, so being the partner of a bisexual person is very common. Bisexual people are just as capable of happy healthy relationships as people of other orientations. Recent research has shown that bisexual people who are in relationships are significantly more likely to experience good mental health if their partners are supportive of their sexuality. Also, looking after yourself is really important. If you would like support and to talk to someone with specialist knowledge in working with partners of bisexual people contact us to make an appointment with our specialised counsellors. See our support page for more details.
I'm a parent of a young person who is bisexual, what should I do?
You are already doing a great thing by looking online, finding our website and trying to inform yourself about how best to support your young person. Going through the process of figuring out one's sexuality can be a challenge for young people and your support of them during this process is so important to their health and wellbeing. Our Bi+ Australia counsellors are highly skilled in working with parents to better understand how they can support their young people through this journey and how they can support themselves through it too. If you would like to book a counselling session please contact us or see our support page for more details.
I am bisexual, how can I connect with other bisexual people?
Connecting with others can be difficult for bisexual people because there aren't a lot of organised bisexual communities. There are a number of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) communities around Australia that can be found by 'Googling' these in your local region. For bisexual specific connections see our Links and Resources page.