It's one of the oldest cliches in the book, that somehow having sex with a man makes you less 'manly' and less attractive to women. But actually the opposite is often true, and society is finally catching on.
I'm a bisexual man. I've had sex with men, women and long lasting relationships with both. Personally, I have no preference. If I find someone entertaining or sexy I'll go for it, we'll work out what's going on in the bedroom when we get there. To me having sex with a woman is amazing and having sex with a man is amazing for different reasons.
Yet many people believe that being bisexual and having sex with men will somehow put women off, as though your masculinity is somehow defined by the gender of the people you date. Actually, according to an Australian study by the School of Health and Social Development, "women in relationships with bisexual men say their partners are better lovers and fathers than straight men." So there you go.
From personal experience I can tell you why bisexual men rate better between the sheets. While straight men develop their moves through a mix of experience and porn, I've actually had sex with other men. I know what other men have done that's impressed me in bed and when I see these awesome moves—I steal them. You can't hope to use your penis right until you've been on the receiving end of one.
It's not all about sex, though. Relationships are important too. So are there women out there who don't mind dating guys who've had sex with men? Well the truth is there are both: some are put off by it and some don't think it's an issue. I don't date anyone biphobic: if a woman or man I go on a date with has a problem with my sexual history that's fine, it's actually a great way to trim the fat in the pursuit of finding someone to spend the rest of my life with. It's sad that there are men and women that are put off but ultimately that's their preference and they just happen to be interested in a different version of man.
From dating men I've seen what equality really means in a relationship.
My girlfriend is amazing, despite the fact that when we first met I had my tongue down a guys throat. I knew she was something special and luckily the feeling was mutual. She's never had an issue with me being bisexual, she's not insecure and worried that I have 'double the options to cheat' on her. She understands that out of all the men and women, I chose to be with her for a reason—I'm not going to throw that away for an orgasm with a stranger. She also likes that being bisexual means I have a unique perspective on how to treat women—absolutely the same as men.
When you date both men and women it can be confusing when it comes to being the man. But from dating men I've seen what equality really means in a relationship: you play to your talents not your genitals. If you're better at cooking, you do most of the cooking. If they're better at picking places to eat, they pick the places to eat. If you're both bad at cleaning—hire a cleaner. After dating a guy for two and a half years, going back out on the dating scene was an adjustment when it came to how to treat women. I was so used to things being equal, but despite what they tell you, society still isn't entirely ready for that when it comes to men and women. Often, women I dated expected me to pay the first time we went out. Now I'm not rich, I can't be dropping £100 an evening every time I like a girl. I'd be bankrupt in a week.
There is also this issue of being a 'protector' when you're the man in a straight relationship. In my view I signed on to be a boyfriend not a bodyguard, and I don't think it's my place to go calling out and punching people in my girlfriend's life that I'm not happy with. It's her life, I've really no right to get involved in issues that don't concern me unless she asks for my help. Some guys disagree and think their girlfriend is their property to defend.
Do I fancy my male friends? Hell no, they're awful.
Being bisexual creates some unique dynamics outside of dating. For example: my straight male friends, do I fancy them? Hell no, they're all awful. Just because I've got the capacity to be attracted to both men and women doesn't mean I'm attracted to every man and woman on the planet. My mates are my mates, I like them for their banter, drinking abilities and how much we rip the piss out of each other. I've no need to date them and let's be honest I'm way out of all their leagues. When it comes to straight men I'm a realist, they aren't interested and I already have women, bi and gay men to choose from that's more than enough.
Some may wonder if having straight friends is awkward as a bisexual. Not in my experience. My straight friends love my bisexual adventures, in fact one of them recently remarked that our group chat has gotten boring since I met my girlfriend. When I was single we traded sex stories like all men do, it just so happens that mine were a mix of men and women and apparently they find that more interesting.
Ultimately, my masculinity is not determined by the people I date, it's determined by me. Modern society has torn up the rule book when it comes to being a man. In this time of transition we have an opportunity to rewrite the rules. As long as we earn money, are respectful of others and can hold a decent conversation, we're golden.
I'm not gay, I'm not straight, I'm a bisexual man and now, in 2017, I feel lucky that I can honestly say I'm a man that I'm happy with.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.