Dating in Berlin: The Struggles of Being Bisexual

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    A recently-published study revealed Millennials as the least-straight generation in the history of LGBTI*+ research. They’re nearly twice as likely to identify as non-straight than other adults. And as more boys, girls and folks that are neither (or both) come out of the closet, one would hope that a certain normality would have settled in around those sexual orientations beyond straight. I know it would make my (dating-)life a lot easier.

    I’ve never been shy about my orientation, which is best defined as: if you’re hot and smart and enthusiastic about me putting my hand down your pants, I’m really going to be cool with whatever I find there. But I’ll classify as bisexual for easiness sake most of the time.

    It feels like there is a grand old billboard somewhere in Berlin that says “Bisexuality: the sexuality everyone is entitled to have an opinion on!” Which is weird, because last time I checked, the only people that get to have an opinion on my sexuality are people that are afflicted by it. And by “afflicted” I mean “get to have sex with me”.

    There are two reactions from (especially) men when they learn I’m bisexual: fetish or dismissal.

    “Fetish” has come to me in a 600 words essay, detailing why exactly I should date the guy in question: Spoiler, it’s my “intense sensuality as a bisexual woman”, because “bisexual women are so sensual, that’s why I exclusively date them”. You can imagine my intense delight. Nothing like finally having your sexuality and its magical abilities it so clearly grants explained in a message that overuses the world “sensual”.

    “Bisexuality: the sexuality everyone is entitled to have an opinion on!”

    Another special shoutout goes to the walking man bun that once told me that “there is nothing wrong with being straight, white and male” after I told him to fuck off when he repeatedly asked when I had bedded a woman last. No idea why he chose that as a defense, and honestly, having an attitude like that is likely to get you in the same category as the Wedding: You’ll never get to come.

    Let me be clear, I have no problem with heterosexuals. I actually have a lot of heterosexual friends. I suspect my sister might be a heterosexual. My parents definitely are. Honestly, I really don’t have a problem with it. I just get uncomfortable when they are obvious about it. You know, when they ask “which gender you’d date if you’d have to choose”. Or if they propose threesomes with their boyfriends even though they’re “not gay”.

    The other side of the medallion is dismissal. It’s usually straight men that tell me they would be “less hurt” if I left them for a woman. Yet a lot of people seem to be pretty uncomfortable with dating bisexuals at all, since it “doubles the danger of being cheated on”. Let me burst that bubble for you, honey: what doubles your chances of being cheated on, is you being a human garbage fire, regardless of my sexual preference.

    Bisexuality seems to be a constant Catch-22: If we don’t have “enough” gay sex, we’re “fakeing it”. “Enough” in this case, is any imaginary number a random person deems appropriate for you to be “allowed” to call yourself bisexual. If we’re sleeping with “too many” people of another gender (another imaginary number decided by someone else), we’re insatiable. Funny enough, with men that number is usually reached once you’ve slept with more women than they have.

    Being caught between straight and gay culture just sucks, as both sides are uncomfortable with “claiming” you for their team. While bisexuality in men is seen as a “gateway” into gayness, in women it’s seen as performative. Girls making out in clubs are still perceived to be doing so for the benefit of a male audience.

    The fact that sexuality is fluid is something people are still very much uncomfortable with. Bisexuality being shamed is probably a sort of knee-jerk reaction from people that never honestly questioned their sexuality. Seeing someone that enjoys sex with people of more than one gender as a thread to their carefully crafted self-image is still a thing, even in modern day Berlin.

    So, I implore you, my dear reader, while there is nothing wrong with being heterosexual don’t be so bloody obvious about it! Some of us are just trying to get bi.

    Text: Alix Berber, Photos taken from the film Love by Gaspar Noé

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    Alix Berber is iHeartBerlin’s dating columnist. The Tattletale Heart tells stories of desire, infatuation and the ghosts of lovers past. They are the dating-chronicles of a hopeless romantic with serious trust issues in the capital of the notoriously unattached.