After the recent study which “confirmed” the existence of bi-sexual men, it’s no surprise that bisexuality is a hot topic. this weekend explained why though the study may help to legitimize the the bi-sexual man in the eyes of the public, changing perceptions about bisexual men is still an uphill battle.

“Despite enormous strides made in the past decade for LGBT rights,” writes Salon’s Tracy Clark-Flory, “male bisexuality remains a challenging idea and a unique taboo, even within sexually progressive circles.”

Clark-Flory interviewed a dozen bi men about the stigmas associated with their sexual identity and the ensuing difficulty they might face. In particular, the men interviewed seem to feel that many of their struggles arise in their dating lives. Simon, a 20-something from Brooklyn claims straight women seem most affected by the stigma.

“I encounter lots of women who totally rule out relationships with men who’ve slept with men,” says Simon. “It seems like straight women attach an ‘ick’ factor to bisexual men that straight men don’t attach to bisexual women.”

Whether it’s based on an “ick-factor,” the idea that having sex with men makes a man less masculine, or the pervasive stereotype that bi-men are, in fact, closeted homosexuals who will spring the news on their straight female partners years down the line, on the eve of their wedding day, it does seem that many straight women are cautious about dating bi men.

I became curious about how this stigma (or at the very least perceived stigma) affects the way that men present themselves on online dating sites. On HowHookup, 18% of non-heterosexual men identified as bi as opposed to 52% of non-heterosexual women.

If you compare these percentages to the results Kinsey’s famous study of male and female sexuality, you’ll find that there may be a significant difference between who people are actually attracted to and how they identify online. According to Kinsey’s research, 11% percent of the men studied were found to be “equally homosexual and heterosexual” and only 7% of single women responded the same way.

It’s hard to say what accounts for the difference, but I have to wonder if some men who might otherwise consider themselves to be bi are choosing to present as either gay or straight online. And, if so, why? Are straight women and gay men alike less likely to include bi men in their search options? Are they less likely to respond if messaged by a bi man? In other words, how do the stigmas against bisexual men manifest themselves self in the online dating community?

Are you a bi online dater? We’d love to know more about your experience. Please share in comments or email scott at HowHookup dot com.

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