Had more sex with cis-men than any other gender..?

I grew up in a small town that was very white, Christian, and straight so unsurprisingly in my teenage years there were not many opportunities for a bisexual to share affection, kiss, or have sex with anyone apart from cisgendered boys. Though once when I was 14 I snogged a girl in the year below me at school whilst at a local band night.

And then that was it until I moved hundreds of miles away from home to go to university four years later.

From then on I found it really hard to let other women know I was interested in them and explore things beyond kissing for several reasons. Low self-esteem, being covered in eczema, past abuse, but also because…then what!? We only received very basic sex ed in school which didn’t mention anything apart from heterosexual penis-in-vagina sex so I had absolutely no idea what to do next. (Or even for that matter, enough knowledge of sex, pleasure, and anatomy to be able to tell others what would make sex enjoyable for me.)

The aforementioned things are all difficult obstacles to overcome. Plus bis are so hypersexualised that potential partners often assume you’ve had a lot of sex already. In fact, many women who are curious and are looking to experiment have said that they’d like to have sex with me because I’m experienced and can show them what to do! (I’m flattered my personality and love of Doctor Who counts for so much.) So yikes, no pressure then.

When faced with that situation I would retreat into my shell like a turtle. I still do! Though when I have the spoons I also challenge their biphobic assumptions and explain that being bi does not automatically make you anyone’s sex teacher. I’m not an object for your ‘practice run’ either (so you can presumably experience the ‘real thing’ with a monosexual later).

It wasn’t until 23/24 onwards that I started to have sex with people who weren’t cis men. I know there must be many others out there who have or are experiencing something similar. For those who realise they have, or develop, an attraction to the same-sex later in life you may well be in your 30s, 40s, or 50s, and have ‘only’ had sex with cis men. I imagine older bis might feel the pressure of people thinking they should know what they are doing by that age.

(See also, ‘You can’t be bi, if you were you would have known about it by now/tried it when you were younger!)

It doesn’t matter how much or how little sex any of us have had in our lives but we are all socialised to feel like it does and society judges us by it.

Some people seem to think bisexuality can only be granted as a label when you’re able to rattle off a long list of sexual experiences but people aren’t conquests, achievements, or objects that give you a certain status.

So what does all this mean?

It means that, if you experience either a sexual and/or romantic attraction to more than one gender you are bisexual/pansexual/biromantic/demisexual regardless of any sexual experience you may or may not have had. Congratulations! It’s impossible to be ‘not bi enough’.

It means that, if someone thinks they have the right to challenge what label you use to identify yourself as because of knowledge they hold about your sexual history (e.g. ‘you can’t call yourself bi, you’ve only had sex with men’), you can tell them to fuck off!

It also means that, if people don’t believe you and question you about your sexuality (e.g ‘But HOW can you be suuurre you’re X if you’ve only done Y, hmmmmm?’), then you can also tell them to fuck off!

Or you can be more polite about it but you get the idea. You don’t have to justify or explain your sexuality to anyone else.

For a lot of people who really want to have to have (more) sex with women but a lack of knowledge feels like a huge barrier I recommend reading Girl Sex 101 by Allison Moon. It’s a really informative book full of hints, how-to guides, and diagrams. Its content covers communication, pleasure, and consent, and the book is trans inclusive.

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Advice from Workshops: Coming Out

Last month I presented a workshop on coming out at London BiFest 2017. You can read more about it here.

As part of the workshop I asked participants to share their tips & advice on coming out and said that I would post it online afterwards so people can use it as a resource.

Every time I present this workshop I will add to the list- but please feel free to comment below if you would like to contribute anything.


  • Learning facts about bisexuality (e.g. studies have shown there are more bisexuals than the number of lesbians and gays put together) can help you respond to people’s negative comments (‘But bis don’t exist!’) and give you resilience. You know you’re not alone.
  • Sassy comebacks:
    • “No I’m bi, you’re confused!”
    • Answering “I’m 100% bisexual.” if anyone asks what percentage you’re attracted to different genders.
  • Asses how much time/energy you have left to give? If anyone has questions or wants a discussion you can refuse to answer, delay answering until another day, or talk away. It’s up to you. You don’t have to be anyone’s educator or ignorance buster. Nor do you have to explain yourself or justify your sexuality.
  • But if you want to, you can prep answers to questions in advance because sometimes it’s hard to speak in the moment.
  • Choose a place where you can leave easily and/or choose a place where leaving is the normal thing to do. E.g. the kitchen. Makes things safer and less awkward.
  • ‘Lead bi example’ – if you come out like being bisexual is absolutely fine and normal (which it is) then other people are more likely to respond in the same way. (Much better than starting with something like ‘I HAVE SOME DIFFICULT NEWS PLEASE DON’T BE UPSET!’
  • Say what you want the other person to do. E.g. I’m telling you, but don’t tell anyone else.

Traveling To Meet Family I Never Knew I Had

I remember what it was like to come out to my family. I know what it is like to still not be able to tell all of them. And in the past I’ve written about what it’s like when a  bereavement takes away the chance of ever being able to say.

I remember all the time spent as a teenager and as an adult, not knowing whether the people in my family would accept or reject me or fall somewhere in between. Agonising year after year after year about whether it’s safe to come out and if so, when and how to go about it. For me it’s painful and stressful and a slow form of torture you have to carry with you every single day when all you want is to be wanted and loved unconditionally for who you are.

For many of us deaths, divorces, and new relationships change the shape of our families and people can find themselves having to go through all off the above for a SECOND TIME. This was the case for me when a step-family came into my life. (Although I wouldn’t wish for things to be any different because I’m happy that my dad and step-mum have been able to find love and happiness together.)

Now, from a very young age I’ve known that my dad was adopted. I never thought much of it because I was told never to mention it and I loved the grandparents I knew. It was a shock at the time, but as far as I was concerned my adoptive grandparents were my family and the mysterious biological relatives out there somewhere was something I never really had a concept of anyway.

When I was in my early 20s my dad decided to look for his family and some time later contact was made. I’m delighted to say it was a positive reunion for all involved. However it was still a huge thing for me to try and get my head round as after my birth grandma was forced to give my dad up for adoption she was sent to America and went on to have four more children. This means I have many aunties, uncles, and cousins (plus their babies) in another continent.

Part of the reason I put off flying out to America to meet them for so long was because for me that means having to go through the above for a third time. A THIRD TIME!! And this time having A LOT of people to get to know and work out whether it’s safe to come out to them or not. And if it all ends badly I will be alone and nowhere near home.

I am sat a plane to America as I type and I feel a lot of things; happiness, excitement, sadness. Grief for the time we never got to spend together. Grief for the grandparents I never knew. (My birth grandma passed away a decade ago. Birth grandad remains unknown.) However most of all I’m afraid that my recently discovered biological family will be biphobic. I feel very vulnerable and emotional right now and unable to face any negative reactions or rejection that might arise. I wish I could just dance out of Arrivals singing “I’m beautiful and bi!” whilst doing jazz hands or something and they’d go, “Awesome!” and we’d hug but sadly life is never that simple. Or stylish.

But one thing I’ve realised is that if I fear or expect any biphobia then I am being just as prejudiced as I fear they might be. I would be judging them before I know them and thinking less of them. That’s not it’s not a nice thing for me to do and it’s not very nice or fair for them. So despite being utterly terrified and emotionally exhausted I am doing my best to have an open heart and an open mind as I fly over the Atlantic.