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"Should (would/could) lesbians date bisexual women?" (We moved these discussions/this topic over here.)


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We've been privately instructed by a few dozen members over the last few months that for the good of the site overall, we (just the women that run it) really need to weigh in on this issue. 

Meanwhile, since we (still just the women that run it) neither identify as bisexual nor claim much experience dating those that do . . . thus far . . . we just . . . disagreed?  

We're all lesbians who have mostly dated other lesbians. Seriously.  Imagine lesbians who have mostly dated other lesbians shrugging their shoulders at you right here.

We also felt we could safely state that . . . that's not really our lane?  Or our wheelhouse?  Or our dog? (Insert preferred "lack of experience" and/or "not really our responsibility" metaphor/s here.)  

But meanwhile again, we don't like it when essentially the same forum discussion topic spawns into too many threads too confusingly.  It's just not helpful for anyone new.

We also think some of our observations combined with some new thoughts from Vee Kinsley (more on her below) represent a synthesis of much of the meaningful thought thus far.  At this point, we think we're summarizing our view of things culturally from our vantage point as lesbians who run this site, not claiming any of this personally.  But probably, more than likely, our observations are another form of legitimate.  Different, but not so very less valid.

SO JUST AS AN ENTIRELY BORING AND HOPEFULLY UNNECESSARY PREAMBLE, what we're discussing here are "macro" social events.  New Oxford American Dictionary defines "macro" as "large-scale; overall: the analysis of social events at the macro level. Often contrasted with micro."

That means that if you and/or anyone else you know seems to be somebody entirely other than anyone we're describing here, that's par for the course.  Exceptions to any macro tendency are expected and entirely micro.  

So for real, no one needs to get personally insulted.  If you don't think we're talking about you, you're probably right.  Hang onto that thought.

. . .

We're in a unique position in terms of reflecting back what the community feels on this issue in that we don't actually have to poll everyone again or ask a whole bunch of lesbians via some other platform . . . we can just look at what everyone requested for themselves via their membership profiles.  

Approximately 65% of the members of this site identify as lesbian.  That's the largest block.  

About 28% ID as bisexual and female.  That's the second largest block.

Anyone reading can look at our profile questionnaire again for all the exact wording, but it essentially asked the preceding groups if they were willing to meet themselves (lesbians if they were willing to meet other lesbians, same for bisexuals) and each other (bisexuals if they were willing to meet lesbians and vice versa).  

So, while we'd imagine one could approach attempting to answer the question/s: "Should (would/could) lesbians date bisexual women?" a number of different ways, what better one could there be than aspirational self-report?  Meaning, who lesbian members hoped this site would help them meet and get to know.

. . .


That's the percentage of lesbians on this site who hoped it would help them meet bisexual women.

. . .

So yes, that means 78% of lesbians on this site do NOT hope it will help them meet bisexual women.

. . .

What about the bisexual women themselves?  Who are they hoping to meet?  

The stereotype (as discussed elsewhere on this forum too many times to reference them all) is that bisexual women would like to meet lesbians, while most lesbians are less enthusiastic about the possibility of meeting bisexual women.

And . . . this stereotype seems to hold.  Exactly how well?

That's a bit complicated.  At first we were surprised to find we had several thousand bisexual women NOT requesting lesbians.  But then we examined those profiles more carefully, and realized an extremely high percentage mentioned heterosexual men.  They were mostly bisexual female/heterosexual male couples collectively looking for bisexual (rather than lesbian) women to join them.  

In other words, those couples are apparently NOT on this site with the goal of harassing lesbians/other women who have clearly stated they have no interest.  They were completely attempting to sidestep even the possibility of that.  So that's just civility and graciousness, really.  And apparently most members of this site are doing an acceptable job of labeling and sorting themselves with civility and graciousness as well, also appreciated (clap clap clap).

But meanwhile, we also thought it was possible some of our bisexual members NOT currently partnered with men and collectively looking for a third would NOT want to be aggregated with other bisexual members that do fit that description?

Well.  Still up in the air if they'd like to be aggregated or not.  (Y'all can chime in if you'd like.)

But a few things suggest it might not be appropriate to aggregate these two groups:


#1:  When you exclude the profiles that mention heterosexual men, the entire picture flips over.  The overwhelming majority of bisexuals who do NOT mention heterosexual men in their profiles ARE open to meeting lesbians.  Like, they do exist, but the bisexuals (again, excluding those with profiles mentioning a heterosexual man) who do not wish to meet lesbians on this site are a minuscule percentage overall.


#2:  Bisexual women currently partnered with men and collectively looking for a third represent a small percentage of our overall bisexual membership, and they're mostly outliers.  Statistics 101 suggests it's often inappropriate to average groups together when they seem to possess reliably different characteristics.

Of course, there could be a skew there, in that to whatever extent bisexual women who do NOT want to meet lesbians actually exist anywhere in large numbers, perhaps they don't tend to sign up for a site called "lesbotronic" that also warns you on its index page that it's owned and operated by lesbians?

That could be.  We literally don't know, and can't think of a reasonable way to determine that offhand.  We don't have that data.

But we can most definitely say that to whatever extent bisexual women who do not wish to meet lesbians actually exist anywhere in large numbers, they are not signing up for this site. 


#3:  We also imagined the picture would shift if we did a separate analysis on members interested in polyamory vs. monogamy.  We imagined both that bisexuals would be more likely to be polyamorous than lesbians, but that lesbians that do ID as poly would be more willing to meet bisexuals.  

In other words, we also imagined that some of the lesbians avoiding bisexual women might be avoiding them because they believe bisexual women are less interested in monogamy than they are/most lesbians are?

And in addition to that, we also wondered if this might soften that rather harsh 78% we just mentioned.  Like, any lesbian that's interested in polyamory and/or relationship structure (fill-in-the-blank-here) other than longer-term monogamy is likely also more open to bisexuals? 

. . .

And . . . we were wrong about all of that in #3.  

On this site across all demographics requested we have a slight majority that would prefer dating monogamously.  However, lesbians are no less likely to be poly than bisexuals nor are poly lesbians more interested in meeting bisexuals than monogamously-minded lesbians.

. . .

So yes, that's quite a gulf.  But WHY are so many lesbians uninterested in bisexual women?  We don't have data on that, as our questionnaire requests your preferences regarding who you'd like to meet, but it doesn't ask you to explain them.

Culturally speaking, there seems to be more than one popular explanation:



Many homosexuals have accused many bisexuals of being too unwilling to relinquish any of their heterosexual privilege to take their homosexual relationships seriously or expose them publicly for fear of some homophobic social disapproval consequences.

We can't say how long this idea has been around, but a while.  A very long while.

And while we are still certain this remains true for some bisexual women . . . we really wouldn't continue to imagine that's the majority of them anymore, if indeed it ever actually was.

For example, while this is no scientifically valid statistical analysis, we challenged ourselves to come up with a collective list of bisexual women we've known well enough to have a handle on their relationship histories. As a rule, they've fairly relentlessly dated women casually to semi-casually, more or less short-term relationships and/or "friends with benefits" style . . . then proceeded to form all their longer-term milestone relationships exclusively with heterosexual men.

Exceptions were entirely present.  But still relatively rare.  We were all imagining well under 5%.

But probably the more important thing to note is that we also estimated that the majority would PROBABLY (as in, you never know 100% what's going to happen and/or just who's going to randomly run into a dangerous asshole) NOT suffer severely from homophobia if they did have a longer-term and/or public homosexual relationship.

Again, probably.  Meaning, these women were mostly from diversity-tolerant-progressive-ish families, lived in diversity-tolerant-progressive-ish cities, and worked and/or studied in diversity-tolerant-progressive-ish places/occupations where other out queer people already existed, paving the way for them in advance.

So unlike many if not most bisexual women from previous generations, it probably wouldn't have been incredibly difficult for them to "come out" to folks other than close friends or their female dates.  It probably wouldn't have been an overwhelming hardship upon the rest of their lives had they decided to form longer-term and/or more public relationships with lesbians rather than heterosexual men.

Yet, most bisexual women we've known have not.



If any particular bisexual woman can fall in love and form a lasting relationship with either lesbians or heterosexual men, and she doesn't specifically decide to prioritize dating women . . . she's still more likely to end up with a heterosexual man, just because there are SO VERY MANY HETEROSEXUAL MEN ALMOST EVERYWHERE.  

But yet, if we do imagine that most bisexual women are just meeting folks randomly, not at all prioritizing dating men over women, and every bit as capable of falling in love with a woman as a man . . . shouldn't they also be falling in love with lesbians too at approximately the rate of whatever percentage of the population lesbians represent wherever they live?

Again, we have no scientifically valid statistical analysis here, but it seems like quite a bit less than that.  

So similar to the homophobia explanation, while we're certain the numbers game explanation makes sense to many and is actually true for some, it still doesn't seem to explain the whole macro situation.



We recently read this article:  "A Rigged Outcome - Why Bisexual Women Struggle in Lesbian Relationships" by Vee Kinsley

Kinsley says she "spent the first two decades of my life living as a closeted trans woman—a bisexual male to the outside world" but now lives as a bisexual woman.  From these perspectives, she believes that "it’s time to examine the pervasive, inner workings of heterosexual conditioning that, whether any of us in the bisexual community want to admit or not, have doomed so many bisexual/lesbian pairings to failure."

She also said:  "One of the most pervasive challenges I’ve experienced with dating after I transitioned has been maintaining the interest of cisgender bisexual women without having to perform romance in the same heteronormative manner I’d been taught back when I lived as a boy. In this situation, if I approach romance even slightly more passively, or deviate from heteronormative standard practice in any way, the momentum between us fizzles out in a hurry. Now no one is driving the process forward; no one sets up the next date, leans in for a kiss, or “buys the flowers,” so to speak. Any digression from the beaten path of straight romance leaves other bi women feeling as though I’m not interested, even if I am interested but showing it in a different manner than she’s used to. (Conversely, my relationships with straight men go haywire the moment I try to take a more active role in romance or courting. A lot of men say they want that in a woman, but that has certainly not been my experience!)

My relationships with gay women, on the other hand, have felt much more egalitarian to me. Particularly with those who’ve known their orientation from an earlier age, and/or those who’ve had little, if any, experience dating men in their past. While lesbian women are certainly bombarded with the same messages about romance as everyone else, I wonder if perhaps they don’t internalize them to the same extent. The gay women I’ve dated don’t expect me to perform romance as a man would, because their relationships have never or rarely included men, and as a result they’ve created their own version of what romance looks like. In this situation our interactions feel less scripted and more ad-libbed, and I feel so much more like an equally invested—and involved!—partner."

. . .

And . . . we all just went . . . whoa.

. . .

This explanation resonated with us like no other explanation had, ever before.  

Meanwhile, on a most definitely related note, also featured on the link above is a photo montage of . . . Disney princes!

Ten Disney princes, all so much taller and so much physically stronger than their ever-so-desired and thus ever-so-desirable feminine complements, romantically spiriting them away to . . . well . . . we will never know what exactly, now will we????

But we ARE still most definitely emotionally manipulated into embracing the fantasy that wherever and whatever that tall and strong heterosexual man/Disney prince whisks us away unto, it will be absolutely fabulous.  

As will be our hair.  All just constantly swept away, but still somehow chock full of gorgeous glitter and occasionally a petite flower arrangement.  HEY!  That's what they promised!

One of us has a clear memory of watching one of those Disney princes with her mom at a single digit age.  And getting sad as she started thinking, "I don't think I'm going to want all of that or that guy the way my mom seems to think I should and it also seems like knowing that might make her mad."  (And, it did.)

Anyone forced to imagine how Disney princes could be problematic well before puberty is probably going to be at least a bit more resistant to mainstream social conditioning as to what a proper "romance" needs to look like.  Probably also at least a bit more able to imagine herself in longer-term non-heteronormative relationships as an adult . . . probably?  Most of the time?

. . .

In the meantime, we don't feel the fact that many lesbians have noticed these cultural forces really and truly swirling all around us makes any of them "biphobic."  Our idea of "biphobia" would be not just intellectually acknowledging divisions or differences, but assuming any that have EVER been identified must necessarily continue, forevermore.  

We're not assuming that. 

We are all just metaphorical fish swimming around in the fishbowl that is our cultural context, and absolutely no one is clever enough to resist being influenced by absolutely everyone else.

Within that context, acknowledging all the cultural influences working on bisexual women, IT PROBABLY REALLY AND TRULY IS DIFFICULT FOR MOST to perceive a lesbian as their best possible option for a long-term relationship over a heterosexual man.

And we also now think that for most bisexual women, that's less about a numbers game or homophobia than it is about their existence within a cultural context that reinforces and rewards heteronormative romance and heteronormative relationships RELENTLESSLY.

So no, we actually don't think a lesbian who is more interested in other lesbians than bisexual women is "biphobic."

She may, however, be a bit risk averse.  Relationships can be a lot of work and a lot of emotional risk, and that's even when they're going well.  Hearts and minds as well as real deal time and effort.  She wants to take her intimacy risks with someone she knows is every bit as capable of loving another woman as deeply and completely as she can.

Does that mean she might miss out on a bisexual woman who really is capable of loving her every bit as much as she can reciprocate?  Of course that's totally possible, and would be a real shame.  

But her approach is neither biphobic nor illogical, just risk averse.  Everyone should have the right to determine how risk tolerant they'd like their lifestyles to be, lesbians included.

A lesbian may also feel a serious relationship with a bisexual woman would mean an ongoing struggle with cultural forces and/or heteronormative expectations that are usually not in her favor.  That could feel like an uphill battle for her, no matter who sticks around.

. . .

So if you're a bisexual woman who is interested in dating a lesbian, the onus might have to be upon YOU to convince HER that you're different.  

. . .

You might have to spend some time showing her that you are just as capable of and interested in an ongoing intimate relationship with a woman as you are with a heterosexual man . . . but that you don't expect her to act just like a heterosexual man (especially if she's not into that).

If you're a bisexual woman and that offends you somehow and/or . . . just seems like a lot more effort than you're willing to put in?  

Then you're probably better off sticking with other bisexual women for anything more than strictly casual relationships until such time as sweeping cultural changes make most of what we said above substantially less relevant.

Change is inevitable.  We do believe everything we said above, but we also believe it's all less true right now than at any point in recent history.  While the numbers game explanation is going to remain somewhat stable, homophobia and mass media based cultural influences have proven eventually alterable over time, when folks work hard at that.

But we hope this glimpse into the overall picture made this topic a little less confusing for anyone else feeling terribly confused in the meantime?




"Should (would/could) lesbians date bisexual women?"  

The following forum links are substantially or peripherally referencing this topic.  Since we think this duplication is too confusing for anyone new, we're now finding the duplicates, posting this link on all of those, then herding future discussion on this topic here as well.  If it spawns again elsewhere, we'll merge them onto this thread too.

(So yeah, just in case that was confusing for anyone, future comments on this topic should go HERE now.  In this thread, where you are now.)

If anyone else notices this topic yet again still elsewhere on the forum in a still open thread we failed to notice, please message us and let us know, we'll merge those too.  Thanks!


Public Area

Would lesbians date bisexual women?

Bisexuality, Why Does Everyone Generalize Their Burns?

Meeting new women as bisexual

(This next one is asking an associated question, so we're leaving it open for that discussion alone.  If additional posts seem to be more about the above topic, we'll merge or duplicate them here.)

The Lesbian Allure


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difficult time identifying as bisexual

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  • 1 year later...

It's probably not my place to pipe in on this thread being a Transsexual Woman as I'm still pre-op, but, as an outsider looking in, there could be a few reasons why Bi women tend to be looking more for Lesbian women than other Bi girls.

01: The double edged sword effect.
Scenario: Bi lady 1, possibly has bf & exploring women with bf's consent, if bi lady 1 finds bi lady 2 to play with, possibility bf may like idea of 3some, bi lady 2 may also like that idea, 3some happens, bi lady 2 and bf get too close and bi lady 1 loses both, but if bi lady 1 finds Lez 1, Lez 1 no interest in bf so becomes exclusive.

02: The gender types.
Now this is something even I get as a TS woman. Most "straight / bi men" will go for straight or bi women, as long as said woman tends to look like what society classes as pretty the guys will happily f**k them, others will just f**k no matter what. (No offense meant by that, not trying to generalize men).
Now from the lesbians I've gotten to know quite well over the years, very few are like that, sure you all have your preferences as to what you want in someone, but I've always found most lesbians to need something more substantial from the get go even if the eye candy meets theirs requirements.

So if bi woman only been used to going with men, then looks for lesbian, then doesn't get normal response like she would from the guys, it's one hell of a cultural shock to them.

03: More lesbian than bi
This is kinda an addon to number 1, if bi lady normally been with men, decides enough is enough and is maybe unsure of her sexuality and maybe first time or possibly 2nd time with another woman, if at that moment she has no interest in men anymore, the last thing she is going to do is look for another bi woman, as if she falls in love with bi woman and bi woman 2 decides she wants men as well, bi woman 1 loses out, but with a lesbian woman, bi woman 1 then doesn't have to worry about guys being brought into the equation

I think everything else pretty much been covered from the combined threads above.

Again I would like to state no offense meant towards anyone, no generalizations intended, just things I've noticed over time when I used to do a fair bit of support work online in the LGBTQ communities.

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  • 6 months later...
Maxine Hunter said:

It's probably not my place to pipe in on this thread being a Transsexual Woman as I'm still pre-op, but, as an outsider looking in, there could be a few reasons why Bi women tend to be looking more for Lesbian women than other Bi girls.

Thanks for responding!  

Meanwhile, while I feel you've described a few interesting and different scenarios here . . . if I completely understand all of 'em . . . it STILL, ultimately, at the end of the day, in the final analysis . . . STILL comes back to trying to figure some actually reliable and valid way of predicting who's most likely to cheat on whoever else?  

And THEN . . . after you manage to figure that out . . . trying to avoid being the person LESS likely to cheat?

That's just so messed up.

Not JUST that you imagine you can suss all that out at all entirely in advance but that when you do . . . you're just gonna switch from men to women and that's going to fix your whole entire wagon?

THAT'S the only change you should seriously consider?

. . .

I mean . . . I guess men are more likely to cheat than women . . . statistically speaking?  (IS this still true?)

But "statistically speaking" in this context sounds like you're headed for interpersonal disaster and total emotional collapse . . . doesn't it?

Because whatever personality style is actually what you're trying to avoid, you'd do better to pay attention to THAT . . .

and avoid THAT . . . 

rather than imagining you can fix All That Shit just by switching the biological sex you tend to date?

. . . 

(Because isn’t there a lesbian version of whoever you're avoiding out there too?)

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"STILL comes back to trying to figure some actually reliable and valid way of predicting who's most likely to cheat on whoever else?  

And THEN . . . after you manage to figure that out . . . trying to avoid being the person LESS likely to cheat?

That's just so messed up."

I think a lot of problems stem from the fact people jump into relationships without actually knowing each other, and many go into them expecting it to go badly or not last long, and if anyone got a jealous nature you shouldn't be in a relationship, as if you accuse someone of cheating enough times they'll do it just to give you satisfaction of saying I knew you would cheat on me.

After being cheated on in most my relationships I decided to take a different approach these days, I only ever look for friends now, if we get on really well, and we both feel there is something more to explore then it gets upgraded to an open relationship, if it doesn't work out then back to friendship only.

If I'm looking to see where it goes, I won't play with others even though I could do being an open relationship, if they don't play with others either, shows they want to invest their time in me as I do in them, if they decide to take the option to have fun with others, I'm obviously not worth their time and effort so that tells me all I need to know.

Just have to find your own methods that suit your own personality.

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