Bi-News: LGBTQ+ Women’s Sexual Health

As any millennial, I scroll for hours on social media and I am fed all kinds of stories, ads, and all means to grab my attention. I tend to be easily distracted so I am usually sucked in whether it be by curiosity, research, or just pure entertainment. However, while looking through SnapChat, a story from PinkNews was advertised to me with a title that immediately grabbed my attention.

The article’s title read “The more porn you watch, the more likely you are to be bisexual“. As someone who is constantly trying to fight the stereotypes about the bi-community (i.e. that we are “promiscuous”), I was a little annoyed at the title, but I am not one to get “righteously” outraged at an article title. So I dove right in for curiosity mostly and to see if it had anything to do with bi-bashing.

Reading the article, it appears a popular porn site xHamster conducted an online survey of its users to learn more about their demographic. Their overall results found that users, “… who visit xHamster multiple times per day were twice as likely to be bisexual compared to people who watch porn once a week [and] among men, 10.8 percent of respondents who watch porn once a week defined themselves as bisexual, while 27.2 percent of those who log on multiple times a day said they were bisexual”.  It is unclear how many users they have per day, but the survey was taken by 11,000 US-based users and the results shows that a user logging on would be more likely to identify as non-straight. However, there is not a noticeable trend for gay or lesbians individuals.
There are more stats in the article that I find interesting, but the thing I loved the most what that they did not fear “their new bisexual overlords” because we tend to enjoy everything they produce which as long as it’s not super weird I would tend to agree with.

So how does this relate to bi-women’s sexual health? Well, I’m not sure if you watch quite a bit of porn that makes you probably bisexual, but if the survey is accurate and bi-individuals really are logging into porn sites quite often what does that say for our community in terms of sexual relationships?

Well, an article from Metro Lifestyle might have the answer when discussing women having sex with women. It seems, first of all, that the research has been lacking since 2008. Second, it seems there are more reasons as to why woman are having trouble having sexual relationships with other woman other than just finding someone with a similar sexual identity as yours. In regards to consent, 21 percent were “somewhat comfortable” denying consent while another 10 percent stated not at all comfortable. A third of participants stated that they didn’t, “…feel confident about how their body looks during sex, with another third saying ‘it depends’. Reasons cited for changes in confidence include body hair; whether the lights are on or off; whether they have taken drugs and or alcohol, or feelings of gender dysphoria”. A huge statistic stated that 43 percent had experienced sexual violence in some way or another and for people of color is was 67 percent. Overall, these number are staggering and, “… 74 per cent of people did not access support and only eight per cent of those that did access support said it met their needs”.

The real question here is: what can we do to improve this situation? Well the Metro Lifestyle also suggests more inclusive LGBTQ+ fundamentals in sexual education. I also discussed this for our LGBTQ+ youth. As with all things, education begins young. The more informed you are as a young individual, the more likely you are to be equipped with these situations in the future. From there, there needs to be more resources for LGBTQ+ women in circumstances like these. If they experience, sexual violence, an STI, or mental health issues, they should have a safe, inviting space where they can have their needs met to the fullest extent. Sexual relationships are directly related to all these issues and more. If we cannot address these, then we fail our communities. We should all be a little more willing to help and support in #20BiTeen.

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