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22nd Mar 2024

We need to stop the fetishisation of bisexual women

Anna Martin


I’m bisexual and I’m proud of it 99.99% of the time

It took me a while to get here but I did and I’m never going back except for one circumstance – online dating.

When it comes to swiping through Tinder it seems that every second person is posting with their other half looking for someone to have a threesome with or if you make it to the talking stage they want to know everything about your sex life.

Have you ever had a threesome, would you be interested in it, do you prefer boys or girls – the list of creepy and intrusive questions goes on and on.

It sometimes leaks over into normal dating where you meet the person organically and it all seems to be going well, until I say ‘I’m bisexual, and then the conversation turns.

Don’t even get me started on some of the heinous Tweets that were posted when my episode of First Dates aired.

I’m not the only person who faces this and it isn’t just random strangers online who fetishise bi women over the years, it’s leaked over into mainstream media.

The music industry does it

Credit: Getty

Let’s throw it back to when Liam Payne dropped his first solo work which just happened to include the song Both Ways. Already a bit of a questionable start.

Some of the lyrics that caused a bit of a social media storm back in the day included: “My girl, she like it both ways. She like the way it all taste / Couple more, we’ll call it foreplay / No, no, I don’t discriminate” and “Flipping that body, go head, I go tails / Sharing that body like it’s our last meal”.

This isn’t just to point the finger at men in the music industry, similar sentiments were shared when Rita Ora’s Girls, a collaboration with Cardi B, Charli XCX and Bebe Rexha was released.

Lyrics such as: “Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls” were branded “tone deaf” by lesbian pop star Hayley Kiyoko for doing “more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community”.

As Hayley pointed out in her 2019 statement, these songs are examples of queer women being seen through the male gaze.

How does the male gaze affect queer women?

Credit: Getty

You may think it’s all routed in good old-fashioned misogyny and sexualisation faced by straight women, but there’s a difference for queer-identifying women, not to say it’s any worse, let’s be real it’s all uncomfortable no matter how you identify.

Though there is plenty of overlap, queer women become exotic creatures in the minds of straight men, with ‘lesbian’ being one of Pornhub’s most-watched genres since 2015.

Ask any bisexual or lesbian or basically any queer-identifying woman about their experiences with men and most of them will report back with a story of someone telling them they could change them.

I can vouch for this and so can many of my friends.

Though it might seem harmless at first, things can escalate and sometimes turn violent.

There was a time back in 2019 when a lesbian couple was attacked in London after they refused to kiss for a crowd of teenage boys while on a night bus.

So while comments like “oh you’re just greedy” or “make up your mind” might seem like harmless banter, they’re normalising what is a much bigger issue.