If you are a bisexual woman you will likely have dealt with being fetishized without realizing what it actually was. I know from personal experience what this feels like. From a young age I knew I liked girls and boys but it wasn’t something I grew up thinking was wrong. It just was.
At the age of about 6 or 7, I walked in on my mother and a female friend having sex. I neither thought it was good nor bad, and I kissed a girl at the age of 13 and liked it. I also kissed a boy at 14 and liked it. This was all I knew, that I liked kissing both girls and boys. Later on in my late teens and early 20’s, I started experiencing negative reactions around it. I was made out to be promiscuous because I had engaged in FMF threesomes and I liked them. We have all heard the famous excuse, “It’s just a ‘phase’ young girls go through; they will go on to marry a man and be monogamous for the rest of their lives.” Boo! To each their own, but this is not the path I was made for, although I believed it for a long time. And for a long time I felt so much shame for liking women: I often didn’t involve myself with them because I thought there was something wrong with me. I saw people fighting for and supporting gay men and women, and I saw heterosexual relations preached as normal and healthy – but where was the support for bisexual women?! So it must just be a phase or just a sexual thing, right? Wrong!
Fetishization is the sexual fascination with things that are not inherently sexual.
African american men have been fetishized for generations where white couples want a big black man to come in and fuck the wife while the husband watches (cuckold), getting off on the racist ideals that African Americans are lesser, dirtier, or sub-par humans. Or when a person only dates Asians (often called ‘Yellow Fever’) which often comes back to the idea that Asian women are more submissive and dutiful wives.
When we fetishize people, oppressors become empowered, which leads to us denying people the right to individual action.
The porn industry has been a key contributing factor to to the objectification & dehumanizing of women, especially bisexual & gay women. It portrays women’s sexuality as a choice that can be made to fit men’s desires. Bisexual women get fetishized by men all the time. It often looks like this: a woman divulges, to a man that she is on a date with, that she is bisexual; and his face lights up with excitement.
All too often these men are quick to start asking inappropriate questions like “was your ex hot?” or “Can I see a picture of her?” or “could we have a threesome?” None of which would be asked about a past boyfriend.
Bisexuality among women in mainstream society has been made about sex, and often about the male counterpart. It’s not considered an actual sexual preference for the woman. Bisexual women often don’t get accepted or taken seriously in the queer community either. Many Lesbians will not date bisexual women because they “aren’t gay enough” or they “may leave you for a man”. This drives home the case for the fetishization of bisexual women.
Society’s Monosexuality causes people to think everyone’s only attracted to one gender: if you’re not straight, you must be gay – there is no in-between. These stigmas come from both the straight and queer community, further pushing bisexual women to feeling alone and shameful. Then we have the heterosexual men who think they can turn a “lipstick lesbian” (a stereotypical attractive woman who is a lesbian) straight. “She just hasn’t had the GOOD D, I could turn her!.” They almost take it as a challenge to “switch” her, possibly because it hurts their ego to know that a woman is not attracted to them.
To all the bisexual women out there, you are valid, you are seen, you are NOT an object to be used for other people’s pleasure. If you enjoy threesomes, amazing, good for you. If you don’t, that’s great too! Always remember that your sexuality does not have to look like anyone else’s, or what society thinks it should look like.
With Wild Love,