Frequently Asked Questions
Here at Biscuit we use the most all-encompassing definition of bisexuality we've found: it's simply attraction to more than one gender.
That might be sexual attraction, it might be romantic attraction, or it might be both. The important thing is that the label feels right to you.
You'll find that a lot of people who might not call themselves bisexual fit into our definition, and that's why we like to talk about the Bi+ Umbrella.
The Bi+ Umbrella is sometimes called the multisexual spectrum. It describes a range of microlabels that fall under the more wide-ranging definition of bisexuality. Some of them describe specific patterns of attraction, some of them are reclaimed slurs and some of them are slang terms. All of these labels are considered part of the great big bi+ family.
Only you can answer that. You might find it helpful to reflect on the people you've been attracted to in your life so far. Were they all of the same gender? If the answer is "no", then you might be bisexual.
How you identify is up to you. People who experience attraction to more than one gender use a few different terms for themselves, and choosing which label you prefer ‐ or choosing not to apply one at all - is entirely personal.
You might be, if you feel like the label is a good fit. The definitions of bisexual, pansexual, polysexual and omnisexual broadly overlap, and while some people under the bisexual umbrella find the distinctions useful, others prefer a broader stroke. You'll probably get sick of us saying this, but it's entirely up to you.
The prefixes pan and omni both mean all, so it stands to reason that both pansexual and omnisexual both mean attraction to all genders. In practice, pansexual is generally used to mean attraction regardless of gender and omnisexual as attraction that actively considers gender.
The prefix poly means many. Polysexual people are therefore attracted to multiple genders.
The simple answer is “because that's what the bisexual community says.”
The meaning of the words homosexual and heterosexual have stayed fairly static since their inception, but the word bisexual has a longer and much more varied history.
Coined around a century and a half ago, bisexual was first a botanical term, then a biological term used in the same way we would use "intersex" today. Later it entered the lexicon of human sexuality, when it appeared in a translation of Richard von Krafft-Ebbing's work Psychopathia Sexualis (The Psychopathology of Sex) where it referred to the the state of having both masculine and feminine characteristics in one psyche.
It would be disingenuous to claim that no one has ever used the word to refer to attraction to just cis men and cis women, but as our understanding of gender has evolved, our use of the word bisexual has evolved with it.
Since the 1980s, the word bisexual has slowly solidified its current definition. At Biscuit we phrase this as attraction to more than one gender but you might also see it defined in other, similar, ways, like attraction beyond gender, or attraction to two or more genders.
Well, it depends on who you ask. If you want to know the number of people who identify as bisexual, the latest statistics suggest it's about 670,000 people in the UK or just over 1% of the general population.
If you ask people to place themselves on a scale of sexuality called the Kinsey Scale, around 76% categorise themselves as either exclusively homosexual or exclusively heterosexual, while 19% of people would fall under the definition of bisexuality even if they don't define that way. (The remaining 5% would categorise themselves as either asexual or questioning).
Of the LGBTQ+ community, people under the bi+ umbrella make up around half.
Yes! The bi+ community can be hard to find, but it does exist. It mainly revolves around events like BiCon and BiFest, or the community coming together to celebrate Bi Visibility Day or Bi History Month, but you can find bi communities all over the UK.
Bi communities are much more easy to find online, especially on social media. Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram all have busy bisexual hashtags, and there are active communities on sites like Tumblr, Facebook, and Reddit.
You can also find plenty of bis in the wider LGBTQ+ scene (both out and not), as well as those who aren't involved at all.
You might have heard some myths and stereotypes about bisexual people, like that we're greedy, or that we have to alternate male and female partners when dating. You might have heard that:
- bisexuals can't be satisfied with just one partner.
- bisexuals can't be faithful.
- bisexuals are greedy.
- bisexuals are needy.
- bisexuals can't make up their minds.
- bisexuals will give you STIs.
The truth is that the bi+ community is as varied as any other and we've all got different traits and personalities. Some bi people are greedy and others are restrained; some have voracious sexual appetites, and some prefer a Jammie Dodger and a good book. There are polyamorous bisexuals, monogamous bisexuals and celibate bisexuals, and statistics suggest that around half have a regular STI test.
You can find out more about the harmful myths that the bisexual community faces by clicking here, but when it comes to simple stereotypes, it's important to remember that plenty of bisexual people conform to one stereotype or another, and those members of the community are just as valuable as anyone else.
It can be a surprise to learn something new about your partner, especially when they're trusting you with something they haven't told anyone else. You might wonder why they chose to tell you now, or ask what this means for the future of your relationship.
Most people who come out simply want to be honest about who they are. Having a secret can be burdensome, and can make it hard to feel fully comfortable and confident in a relationship of any kind.