It is a common meme that bisexual women are slutty, or need one of each sex to make them happy. Whereas this may be true for some bi women (as it could be for anyone) it is not true of all. Which brings me to an odd point.
Of most women I have talked to, either in person or online, who identify as polyamorous, also identify as bisexual. Is it just a coincidence? I do not think so. It is a matter of choice. We like having lots of choices and see no reason to limit ourselves, to close ourselves off from the possibility that there is more out there. There is debate about whether polyamory is a choice or something inborn in a person, and honestly, I’m not so sure about this, so I’m not going to touch it.
The religious right likes to say that being gay, lesbian, or bisexual is a choice–which is bullshit. The gay and lesbian community sadly parrots this to bisexual people–you must make a choice, as if we can decide who we are physically and/or emotionally attracted to. If they can’t, why do they assume we can? The same goes for the poly community–we can’t make a choice as to who we are physically and/or emotionally attracted to–it happens, often out of our control.
The choices we do have regard who we have relationships with. Where it is true that we cannot choose who we are attracted to, we can choose who we want to have relationships with–especially with regards to the poly community. We know that there are some people who we may be attracted to who may be bad relationship partners–who may not be able to respect our identities or existing relationships. And it is our choice whether we want to include these people in our lives.
While it is true that there are poly women who have both male and female partners, it is equally true that there are bi poly women who have only male, or only female partners. A multitude of partners of the “opposite” sex does not make a bi poly person any more straight than having a multitude of partners of the “same” sex makes them more gay. It is also true that having a mix of sexes with partners does not make a person any more bisexual than one who has partners of just one sex.
As for being open and out, I am of two minds. I will and do freely admit to being bisexual–it is part of who I am and a part of my dating history and I think it is important for people, especially those whom I am attracted to and may be interested in forming a relationship with. While I do believe it is important to be honest to all of one’s partners, there’s a certain point where I think poly becomes must know information. So, in summary, bi=freely open, especially to prospective partners and poly=on a need to know basis, but as early as is practical. Maybe the last half is because I am not fully comfortable with this part of myself yet–it took me years of knowing I was bisexual to be this comfortable about it and I have only been dealing with poly for months.
I’m not quite sure how I was intending to structure this when I started, but I think I’ve said all I can say on this subject at this point in time.
This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, mostly that it is so common in the vernacular.
Polyamory: many loves
Monogamy: one partner*
Why are these always used as opposites? They may be almost mutually exclusive (not going to go into when they aren’t because that’s just semantics) but they are not logically linguistic opposites. If one looks at roots (both Greek and Roman in the case of polyamory) the opposites are as follows:
Opposite of many loves, is one love–monoamory
Opposite of one partner is many partners*–polygamy
I propose the increased usage of the word monoamory–despite its plethora of vowels, it is the technically correct word to use opposite polyamory.
*: I simplified the terms incredibly. The ending -gamy usually refers to marriages, but is often used to also refer to non-married relationships as well.