Are You Bicurious Or Something More? Four Bisexuality Signs You May Be Overlooking

By: Aaron Smith

Updated June 25, 2021

Exploring sexuality is a normal, natural, and healthy thing to do. Whether you are straight or fall somewhere on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, it's healthy to explore your sexuality, discovering what you like, what you don't, and maybe even who you are.

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Since we live in a heteronormative society, many people may not realize for many years that they fall on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum until well into adulthood. It can be confusing to discover that your sexual and romantic orientation is not what you assumed it was.

Bisexuality may be even more confusing because the attraction (whether romantic, sexual or both) is towards two or more different genders. Since it is not as clean-cut as "I am attracted to men (or women)," frequently, someone who is bisexual may go on a journey of discovery exploring different sexual identities, such as strictly gay or straight.

What Is Bisexuality?

Bisexuality is the attraction to the same gender as yourself and at least one other gender. It differs from bicurious. Bicurious is when someone is typically attracted to one different gender from themselves yet has fantasies and curiosity about what it would be like to be with someone of the same gender.

Being bicurious is not a prerequisite to discovering you are bisexual. Additionally, someone who is bicurious may not be bisexual at all. And someone who is bisexual may never go through a bicurious phase since sexuality is fluid and can change over time. No one path that anyone who identifies as LGBTQIA+ has to take to discover their sexual identity.

How Do I Know?

Bicurious people may have questions about their sexuality. If this is you, you may be wondering if you're are bisexual and not simply bicurious. While there is no simple test to prove your sexual and romantic orientation, there may be some signs in your life that you want to look at as you think about and explore your sexuality.

Ultimately, you should identify your orientation as something that feels comfortable to you. You are not required to embrace any specific label that you are not comfortable taking on. You have the right to define yourself any way you choose to, even if that definition changes over time.

Here are some things that can help you think about the possibility of being bisexual (as opposed to bicurious).

Attraction

The first and most apparent clue is your attraction. Are you sexually and romantically attracted to people of the opposite gender? Or, do you find yourself with sexual or romantic feelings for another gender as well? Attraction can make itself known in a few ways. One way is by feelings of jealousy. Are you jealous when someone you know is with someone else? Your jealousy can be a sign that you are attracted to this person, regardless of their gender.

Jealousy is different than not liking the other person's choice in a partner. Jealousy is the feeling that you wish you were with the person instead of someone else. There are healthy ways to deal with jealousy, and while you are responsible for the way you may act because of your jealousy, the feeling itself can be a clue that you are attracted to this person.

Another way attraction shows up is by time spent together. Are you drawn to this person, wanting to be around them all the time, possibly forgoing other social engagements or friends for their company? This can be a sign that you are attracted to them as more than a friend.

Do you find yourself wanting to do things for them and give unique gifts to them? These can also be signs of attraction. If you feel you may be attracted to someone you know, it is worth the time to explore those feelings internally, being honest with yourself, and not be afraid of where those feelings may lead you.

Action

Have you ever been intimate with someone of the same gender but still are intimate with others of another gender? Intimacy with the same gender may be passed off as experimentation or a phase, but in actuality, there was a reason you chose to explore that experience. Pay attention to your reaction to the experience. If you felt it was good and would like to do something like that again, you may want to explore those feelings. It could mean you are bisexual. If you didn't enjoy the experience or feel like it isn't something you would want to repeat, that is ok. If the experience left you feeling confused, that is ok as well.

No intimate action, no matter how intimate, defines you as bisexual or not. You are not bisexual simply because you kissed someone of the same gender once, then continued being physically intimate with people of the gender you are usually attracted to. Bisexuality is more than simply actions; it is the attraction, sexual, romantically, or both.

Fantasy

Pay attention to your fantasies. Do you find yourself daydreaming about people of another gender and people of the same gender? There is a reason both of those kinds of people are popping into your thoughts. It may be worth exploring those fantasies as you explore your sexual and romantic feelings.

Not all fantasies need to be sexual. Do you daydream about having a family and see your partner at different times as people of different genders? Can you see yourself dating people both of the same genders as the one that you identify with, as well as different genders? These thoughts are perfectly healthy and normal. Thoughts like these can also be a clue that you may be bisexual.

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Fit

Does the word bisexual feel good when you apply it to yourself? If the word feels right or wrong to you, see how you are feeling. Once you understand what bisexuality means, do you want to apply the term to yourself? Maybe it is appropriate when you are telling people that you are attracted to multiple genders. Maybe it feels right because you find yourself attracted to the same gender as yourself and another gender.

Whatever the reason, if the word fits, use it. If it doesn't feel right, feel free to use another word that is more applicable to how you feel about your sexuality. Sexual and romantic identities don't have to have a label.

Being In A Relationship

What if you are already in a relationship, and you discover you may be bisexual? Staying in a relationship doesn't take away from your bisexuality, whether it be a relationship with the same gender or a different one. Bisexuality is an attraction, not an action. You are allowed to be in whatever kind of relationship you want and still be bisexual.

With a newly-discovered sexual and romantic identity, you may want to explore it by dating other people. Dating other people is a conversation you need to have with your partner. An honest and open talk about where you are with your identity and your attractions can be better in the long run, even if it is a hard discussion to have at the time. You may find that they are okay with exploring this new side to your identity in an open relationship. You never know if you don't have the conversation in the first place.

Navigating Relationships

Discovering you may be bisexual can be disorienting, and that is ok. You are allowed to feel what you feel. When you are ready, embrace this newly-found aspect of your identity and work to integrate it with your whole self.

This can be tricky in a relationship. Whether it is a long-established relationship or a newly-formed relationship, learning to live out your new identity can be complicated. A licensed online couples' therapist can help you and your partner navigate what this aspect of your identity means for the relationship. The therapist can assist you in having an open dialogue with your partner and give you both tools to deal with your bisexuality in healthy ways.

A therapist is a great way to establish a strong foundation or strengthen what already exists. With a good foundation, you can build a healthy relationship no matter what shape it may take. As long as you and your partner meet each other's needs, the relationship can look however you think it should.

Discovering Your Sexuality Can Be Confusing
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Embrace Who You Are

Whether you are bicurious, bisexual, or something else entirely, you should embrace your identity in its full complexity. If you refuse to accept a part of yourself, you can cause pain and suffering in yourself and possibly in your people.

Embracing who you are in the best context to explore the fullness of your sexual and romantic orientations. You may never know if you don't do some internal work and introspection.

Don't be surprised if your attractions change over time - sexuality is fluid. Changing sexuality doesn't mean that you were lying to yourself; it merely means that you have grown, evolved, morphed, and changed with life experiences and time. Embrace yourself with all the changes that can happen.


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