Studies show that bisexual people enter polyamorous or open relationships to a greater extent than people of other sexual orientations. One particular study conducted by Dr. Balzarini (2018) highlighted how half of the bisexual and pansexual people interviewed were polyamorous. This compared to just 36% of heterosexuals, and 14% of gay and lesbian participants.
In terms of why there is likely to be a greater proportion of bisexual people in non-monogamous relationships, it could be due to the attraction bisexual people feel towards more than one gender.
Being attracted to people of more than one gender means that, often, bisexual people are more compelled to want to explore the different aspects of their sexuality, having the desire to authentically express themselves, embarking on a journey of self-discovery as they embrace the fluidity of their identity. A woman with a long-term boyfriend as her primary partner, for example, might crave an intimate connection with a woman, something which her partner- a man- simply cannot satisfy.
The fact that non-monogamy is becoming less stigmatised, evident by the increasing volume of people ‘coming out’/being ‘open’ (pardon the pun) towards their ‘unconventional’ relationship types, is great. It’s amazing and empowering and a big ‘up yours’ to a heteronormative society. However, I can’t help but worry that, in saying that non monogamy is more common amongst people who identify as bisexual, the idea of bisexuality being about greed and indecisiveness is reinforced, thus contributing to feelings of bi-erasure being experienced in bisexual people, their sexuality invalidated by comments suggesting that they are simply ‘confused.’
Ultimately though, it- the increase in open relationships and polyamory (non-monogamy)- is something to be celebrated, a sign of a more open-minded society, and one which encourages greater diversity, inclusion, and acceptance- of us all.