Recently, I’ve been hearing some of my bisexual friends talk about “bisexual erasure,” the phenomenon where it’s just not really recognized or talked about as a real orientation.

One common complaint I’ve heard is that people tend to simply not believe you, insisting you really must be either straight or gay.

In reality, of course, sexuality is complex and nuanced, and bisexuality needs not only to be validated, but explored and understood.

Like with this post on Ask Reddit:

Bisexual people of Reddit, how does your taste in men compare to your taste in women? Are you attracted to similar traits in both genders or do you look for completely different things? from AskReddit

Here, in their own words, are some folks’ experiences.

1. “I’m a bit all over the place.”

I’m a bit all over the place really. I like masculine men, feminine men, masculine women, feminine women, and everything in between and out of the binary.

I like the female body better because, well, bewbs; but I also enjoy a good beard and the more… elongated lines men have.

I’d have to go on a case by case basis, comparing two people instead of two whole demographies to be able to give a better answer.

Idk, I just like pretty much everybody who’s not a jerk.

– HiganbanaSam

2. “It’s odd.”

it’s odd because i prefer men who are more feminine but women who are more masculine.

– Melochex

3. “I just couldn’t see myself dating a girl.”

I am sexually attracted to both genders but I can’t seem to get emotionally attached to a girl. I just couldn’t see myself dating a girl

– anniebyers3

4. “Twinky feminine.”

For Men I like the “twinky feminine” guy. For Woman I like the strong independent type that don’t take no sh*t.

– TheLoneMetron

5. “No real preference.”

I asked my boyfriend and he said:

“I don’t know if it’s because I’m dating a guy right now, but I only have romantic attraction to men and some minor sexual attraction to women. I am not really picky with people I guess, no real preference, I just want someone who can put up with me rambling about piercings and exercise with me. Though I do have to say, I think I could only imagine myself happily getting married with a man as of now.”

– AtlasTheLoserboy99

6. “These traits overlap a lot.”

The beauty of being bisexual is you get to enjoy the wonder each gender has to offer.

Femininity and masculinity are both gorgeous traits, and no matter people’s identity, you encounter different levels of each in everyone.

To me, masculinity feels like hugging a mountain. It’s strong and alive, think of standing on a rock and feeling an underground river. It’s sensitive and firm and alluring.

Femininity is like standing in the sun. Its powerful and brilliant, but is also gentle. Think of trees standing in the wind. Flexible yet unmovable, totally royal.

These traits overlap in a lot of places but are distinctive by person.

No matter who im with, honesty and passion are always the most attractive things in a person. Will you be authentic? Will you meet me halfway and be eager to live?

Bisexuality taught me gender is a constantly fluctuating spectrum. There aren’t hard lines or set rules. Its whatever you end up loving, and theres much to love, whether your a man, woman, nb or fluid 💖

– write_into_the_grave

7. “I enjoy romance.”

I find myself liking both masculine and feminine men, and I like feminine women. So you could say there is some overlap, lol. I enjoy romance, but it comes out more when I am with a woman.

Physical features are different based on sex two. I love a set of nice legs on a woman, men I find myself more into their torso and arms. (Of course I enjoy t*ts.)

– AssumeImNot

8. “My taste in men is way different.”

My taste in men is way different from my taste in women seeing as i usually go for short, feminine guys who are Subs.

But when it comes to women i like a women who’s tall or even taller perhaps, kinda tomboyish but not too much i guess and are Doms.

– The_Molotov_Head

9. “The Todd from Scrubs is my sexual orientation.”

I frequently tell people that The Todd from Scrubs is my sexual orientation – you don’t even have to be “conventionally” attractive if you have a good personality.

Physical attractiveness matters very little to me, but I find I look for the same qualities in anyone, regardless of gender; things like honesty, loyalty, a good moral compass, and humor.

However, I tend to want to be the more assertive one in a relationship with a man, where with a woman I would prefer someone more assertive than me. I think as an assertive woman I admire other assertive women, so perhaps that’s where that comes from.

– briittanyy

10. “An ooo v ahhhh situation.”

When I see a hot guy v woman in the street, the sensations I feel are very different.

An attractive man feels like a lightening zing to my body, while the woman makes time slow down and makes me feel like I’m a piece of caramel slowly melting/swirling.

Very much an oooo v ahhhh situation – both amazing.

– JaneDoEingItRight

11. “As a guy…”

As a guy, I feel like sexually I’m more attracted to men and emotionally in a relationship I’m more attracted to women.

– jman857

12. “I wouldn’t say it’s the same traits.”

I mean, if you sexy, you sexy. Though I wouldn’t say it’s the same traits as I of course like those physical differences between men and women. Though both sexes can have a nice *ss.

Personality wise I look for more, “softness,” and someone who can accept my independence and more strong nature. Whether man or woman, I’d love someone that can bring out my more affectionate and gentle side.

– SillyBlackSheep

13. “This question made me realize…”

This question made me realize I’m attracted to extreme gender stereotypes and I don’t like it ):

Women: sweet, nice, someone I can take care of Men: strong, not too nice, someone who can take care of me

But overall, I’d say I’m attracted to someone who is passionate about something. Whether it’s playing an instrument, skateboarding, video or card games or whatever I don’t even care if I like it or know anything about it.

I could probably pick all of this apart and learn something about myself, but that sounds like a problem for future me.

– mdubleyoo

14. “Zack Efron, Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, John Ham.”

I am attracted to more muscular, conventionally attractive men – ie Zack Effron, Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, John Hamm, etc.

On the other hand I am more attracted to curvy/chubby women – ie my wife and most of my ex girlfriends.

However, personality, style, and interests sure go a long way to sway my preferences.

– Speechisanexperiment

15. “All I like and care for.”

*ss.

*ss is all I look and care for.

– Wegaxe

So remember, we live in a complex world with complex creatures. Don’t be part of the erasure just because you don’t fully get it at first.

What sorts of people are you attracted to? Why?

Let’s talk about it in the comments.

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