What is Bisexual? What Does It Mean To Be Bisexual?

The definition of bisexual is simple, it’s attraction to both genders. Find out more about what it means to be bisexual.

Definition of Bisexual

Most people are drawn physically and emotionally to people of the same sex or the opposite sex. A simple definition of bisexual is: people who experience sexual and emotional attractions and feelings for people of different genders at some point during their lives.

These people are called bisexuals, although many people prefer to call themselves:

  • Pansexual
  • Non-preferential
  • Sexually fluid
  • Ambisexual
  • Omni-sexual

However, bisexuality is not that simple and bisexual people are a very diverse group. (read: Top Myths About Bisexuals) Some characteristics of a bisexual person might be:

  • The person is comfortable having romantic and/or sexual relations with members of either sex (Are bisexuals equally attracted to men and women?)
  • Sometimes the attraction is stronger towards one sex, but the attraction to both is still there
  • The person may alternate between same sex and opposite sex relationships
  • They may have a steady heterosexual relationship along with an occasional relationship with a same sex partner or vice-versa
  • Many bisexuals feel the person is more important than what type of genitalia they have

The Definition of Bisexual Can Mean Not Fitting In

A big complaint of bisexual people is that they feel that they can't fit anywhere. (read: Coming Out Bisexual)

  • Gay or lesbian people feel that bisexuals are "not really gay" or that they are really gay or lesbian "in denial"
  • Heterosexual people may reject bisexuals due to homophobic stigma
  • Heterosexual women may reject a bisexual man out of misguided fears of HIV and AIDS
  • Lesbians distrust bisexual women for betraying their allegiance to women and feminism

Bisexuals then, tend to feel isolated and confused and they lack the proper support from either side. Read more about biphobia here.

article references



next: Am I Bisexual?
~ all bisexual articles
~ all articles on gender

Last Updated: 16 November 2016

Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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