Bi-curious: What is it? Explained by a Sex Coach
Liza Moroz, journalist and sex coach, talks about accepting her bisexuality and explains what bi-curiosity means and why the term is not as innocent as it may seem at first glance.
I’ve always liked girls. I once even fell for one, or at least, was attracted to her. I have zero sexual experience with women, nor have I ever been in a relationship with one, so for the longest time, I refused to identify as bisexual out of fear. Firstly, I felt like by making such a big statement I would label myself. Secondly, I thought to myself: how do I know I’m bisexual if I haven’t been with women? For these reasons, I used to identify as bi-curious.
My friend Alexey’s story is somewhat similar to mine. Before we had this conversation, he had no clue about the term ‘bi-curious’.
“I’ve always liked to experiment. For most of my friends, same-sex encounters are strictly taboo, and for me they’re an opportunity to explore and expand my pleasure. I’ve never been in a relationship with a man, and I’m yet to meet a man that would have mutual feelings someday in the future. For now, I’m just going with the flow and saying yes to new experiences. Or initiate them myself, if I really like the person.
I remember my first same-sex experience – I was simply curious how it would feel to kiss a guy. A friend of mine was actively making moves and showing interest, so I kissed him. I wouldn’t say I necessarily enjoyed it – it was rather something new and exciting that turned me on. Plus, it was a public kiss, and I have a kink of getting intimate in public.
Then there was a time my girlfriend and I had a threesome with a random guy we met at the club. He went down on me and it was amazing. The coolest thing about it was discussing him with my girlfriend afterward, as we were both impressed by the beauty of it.”
Alexey, unlike me, isn’t rushing to put a label on himself. He prefers to stay out of identifying as anything specific, be that bisexual, bi-curious, or hetero. The important factor for Alexey is one’s personality, not their genitals or identity. And I totally agree with his point of view.
Yet I can’t help thinking about how this position may make people uncomfortable. I remember meeting girls on dating apps and asking them to tell me what it’s like to be with women, which was quite strange. I personally wouldn’t want to be an “experiment” for someone who explores their bisexuality.
My friend Nika, who identifies as bisexual, would also be upset to find out that she’s just someone’s “experimentation tool”. But there was a time when she identified as bi-curious, too.
“I questioned my sexuality while in a relationship with a guy. I was telling him I’m attracted to women, but he wouldn’t take my words seriously. I almost got convinced that as long as I haven’t dated a woman or slept with one, I can’t know for sure. There’s still a thriving stereotype in our society: if you’re a woman dating a man, you’re heterosexual. If you’re a woman dating another woman, you’re gay. No exceptions.
When I searched through articles on bi-curiosity, I felt relieved. I realized that there’s an actual term for us! So, as soon as my relationship with my now ex-boyfriend came to an end (and my denial of my identity was partly due to him), I started dating and exploring my bisexuality”
Nika admits that although identifying as bi-curious was a mindful and not malicious choice, she soon realized that the term itself isn’t as innocent as it may seem. There’s a big dispute against it happening in the LGBTQ community: some think it’s best to avoid the term altogether because it increases biphobia.
Biphobia is defined as discrimination against bisexual people. It comes from both sides: heterosexual-identifying and gay-identifying individuals
Anything from “come on, just pick one already”, “bisexuals are so lucky – your options are endless!” to “this is just a transition stage for you” is included. It seems as if when I’m saying I’m bi-curious, I’m reinforcing stereotypes that bisexuality equals indecisiveness.
And that would be true. No one says, “I’m hetero-curious”, right? Heterosexuality is never questioned in the first place. Plus, many people feel as if they have to prove they are “actually bisexual” to others. And the term ‘bi-curious’ makes it seem as if bisexuality has to be proved by experience, romantic or sexual.
Another opinion regarding bi-curiosity is more lighthearted. It’s that, firstly, no one has to identify as anything. Even if someone pushes us to do so, we can politely tell them to back off, because sexuality is not anyone’s else business. Secondly, if you really want to label your sexuality, do it your way. From “I’m bi-curious” or “it’s complicated” to “currently walking through the Kinsey scale and exploring my preferences with excitement and pride”. And of course, you can simply identify as bisexual right away if you feel like it.
So, how do we explore ethically?
Alexey thinks that the only rule should be making yourself clear to the person you’re talking to before you have an encounter, and this applies to all genders and sexual preferences. Nika says it’s best to keep it straightforward and be honest about your intentions so that you don’t accidentally lead your date on.
If you just want to know how everything works in practice, find someone whose intentions match yours. Don’t expect every non-heterosexual identifying person to agree being your guide or teacher for experimentation, however.
The worst thing you can do is say to someone “I kind of want to try with girls, and since you’re gay, maybe you’d be up for it?”. The best thing you can do is find someone on Pure, where you can be honest from the get-go and let people know exactly what you’re currently looking for. Bonus points if you’re willing to go out of your way to learn about bisexuality and the bisexual community in general - doing your research is always appreciated.