If a girl at a bar confesses that she's bisexual, there's no way she can avoid raised eyebrows and the imagining of sleazy porn movie scenes. Now if this were a guy, he'd instantly be typecast as gay and lying. Such is the sad reality of our life that in a world defined by black & white, bisexuals are often misunderstood for being a little too gray for comfort. So it's time that we dispel some of the ridiculous myths that bisexual people are often subjected to. Take notes, people!

1. Bisexuality doesn't exist.

The fact that bisexuality is vehemently denied its rightful acknowledgement or treated as something people experiment with in college, is one the most hurtful myths. Bisexuality is an integral part of someone's identity. You cannot just stop being who you are because some people choose to be ignorant.

2. Bisexual people are essentially gay with extreme “coming out” issues.

The difference between bi & gay is so blurred for the world, that one word can easily replace the other in conversation. But the truth is that bisexuality is not a trial 'n error session where you pretend to swing both ways, till you find what you like. Bisexuality, by definition, talks about a romantic inclination towards people of both genders. It's a choice that needs to be respected. 

3. Being bi means that you're ready for a threesome, like all the time.

Just because someone is turned on by men & women both, doesn't prove that they're ready for action at any given time of day. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with sex drive. A bisexual relationship is based on the same rules of monogamy that govern a loving heterosexual relationship. So let's appreciate the freedom of choice & nip this myth in the bud.

4. Bisexual people are serial cheaters!

The assumption that if you're bi, you'll crave whatever gender you're not with & start cheating all over the place, is just plain gross. Cheating is not determined or triggered by sexual orientation and it's time we stopped shaming them for it.

5. You're not bisexual till you've humped both sexes equally!

The myth is more of a segue into a larger discussion on whether it's who you fall in love with or sleep with that defines your sexuality. But here's something most don't like to acknowledge - that it is possible for bi people to prefer one sex over the other, without inviting the whole gay/lesbian subtext. So let's keep away from making such ignorant assumptions. 

6. Bisexuals are riddled with STI.

Just because they're attracted to both sexes, doesn't mean that they'll be veritable petri-dishes of sexually transmitted diseases. Bisexual people practice safe sex as much as everyone else. We need to stop fuelling the baseless rumour that all STDs stem from the LGBT community. It's hateful and wholly untrue. 

7. Everyone is potentially a bisexual. *wink wink*

If there's anything that is more damning than blatantly denying the existence of bisexuality, it is believing that everyone is a closeted bisexual. This is just as ridiculous as calling everyone a potential alcoholic, just because alcohol exists. Do you see how stupid this sounds?

8. Bisexual people have it easier than gay or lesbians.

The idea that since bisexuals can easily pass off as straight people, they don't have to struggle with societal acceptance as the rest of the LGBT community, is really offensive. Bisexuals have to go through the same grind of seeking equality as the rest of the lot. The only difference is that they have to deal with criticism both from within the homosexual community & the rest of the world as well. 

The stigma around bisexuality stems from ignorance and the only way to do away with it is by spreading awareness. There's loads of good literature on the subject that plainly explains the gentle nuances. A good place to start will be with celebrated author, Bhaavna Arora's new book “Love Bi The Way.” The book explores a subtle and touching love-story between two bisexual women in a world that doesn't understand them. How they overcome the bias & hate to take their relationship forward forms the rest of the story. Buy it here.

About the author: Bhaavna Arora is an acclaimed author,ex- academician and an avid traveller. When she isn't penning down life-altering books that climb to the top of Amazon's Top 20's list, she's on the consultant board for numerous premier business schools. Such is her love for writing that she chose to give up the prestigious position of a director a leading B-school in Bengaluru to follow her dreams. An all-round champion, Bhaavna has her fingers in numerous pies, of which bike riding, horse riding, swimming & dabbling in martial arts are but a few. Know more about her work here