One of the more interesting (and by “interesting”, I mean strange and offensive) complaints I’ve heard about bisexual women is how they suspiciously tend to end up with men, implying that we’re all actually straight and just putting on for some reason or deliberately taking the “easy”/hetero way out. I’m sure there are women like this since it takes all kinds to make a world, but I’d wager the vast majority who consistently ID as bisexual don’t use women as placeholders while they’re looking for a man.
Personally, I can’t much help who I’m attracted to. If I’m attracted to a man, I’m attracted to a man. If I’m attracted to a woman, I’m attracted to a woman. Except under unusual circumstances (like, say, a polyamorous partner giving me the option) I wouldn’t really think about whatever else is out there. And though there was a time where society and bad self-esteem told me I “needed” a man’s affection to be acceptable (and note that at the time, I was not involved with a woman or anyone else for that matter), life and careful introspection showed that in a general sense, I don’t care either way. I want someone in my life where we’re great for each other emotionally and hot for each other physically. The rest is just details. I suspect this is the case for many other bi women as well.
So, why DO bisexual women “end up” with men so often? I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for me. And I think my experiences are relatively common.
As far as I’m concerned, it comes down to numbers. First off, men just show more interest in me than women do. I’d love more women to flirt with me, but it doesn’t happen; as a rule, if I want a girlfriend, I have to actively look for one since women don’t approach me (and I wish to God they would). Men—including the wonderful one who’s recently become part of my life and yes, we’re both fine with each other dating other people—just kind of show up.
Second, I’m not good at pursuing people. At all. I’m mortally terrified of rejection and tend not to say anything unless the odds seem almost certain; I just about need someone to spell it out in skywriting and perform an interpretive dance before I honestly believe they’re attracted to me. Then, once I do pick up on it, my response (if interested) is usually transient unless the other person puts forth some kind of active chase. In my experience, men are much likelier to be both obvious and persistent. My guess is it’s because they’re socialized that way. In any case, I’m likelier to pick up on men’s interest as interest and it’s more likely on their part that they’ll follow up. Ergo, a greater likelihood I’ll end up with a male partner. (Please note this is not a recommendation for stalking or for making women creepy offers/requests. Good sense and respect for boundaries are always the best way to go.)
Finally, there are just more straight and bisexual men out there than lesbian and bi women. Even without the specifics above, the majority of women are more likely to encounter an interested man in daily life than an interested woman. Moreover, there are quite a few lesbians who flat-out refuse to date bi women, which shrinks the pool of potential female partners even more. As rejection-phobic as I am, this is another potential hazard that tends to make me nervous.
The irony is (not counting fictional characters or people famous for their looks) I’m typically more attracted to women than I am to men—meaning if a woman approaches me, the odds of my saying yes to her are better than for a man. But if she doesn’t approach me and I’m too shy to speak up, we’ll never connect. I doubt I’m the only bisexual woman who’s been in this position.
So, no, it’s not a conspiracy and we’re not all secretly straight. It’s all about the odds and, often, who gets there first.
(For the record, bisexual women “ending up” with women is also very common. When it happens, people tend to assume they were lesbians all along. Just like those who “end up” with men are assumed to be “really” straight.)