Teen Trend: 7 Reasons Why It’s Cool to Pretend to be Bisexual

Bisexuality is really really ‘in’ right now.  As one of my mentees said to me today: “Even if you aren’t bi, it’s still like, really cool, you just pretend to be.”

I called a few of my teen friends and asked them why everyone is coming out:

(Disclaimer: By no means am I encouraging teens to pretend to be bisexual, or diminishing the importance of understanding one’s own true sexual orientation.  I am merely trying to report on this trend and give parents some insight into why teens are finding it so appealing)

1. It’s Naughty

Teens love to do things that feel a bit naughty or wrong.  Bisexuality is a hot and controversial topic in many households and this gives teens a thrill.

2. It’s Sexy

One of the major reasons teens gave me for either being a bisexual or knowing lots of teen bisexuals was that “boys like it.”   Teen girls especially want to turn on other teen boys and many teen boys—and men for that matter think it is a turn on.

3. It’s Forbidden

Many religious organizations, parents, and even cultures forbid or look down upon bisexuality or homosexuality.  This makes it a rebellious output for many teens.

4. It’s Intriguing

The ‘typical’ family situation is a man and woman with kids.  Having two women or two men attracted to one another is not a societal norm—yet.  This makes hooking up with your same sex intriguing, mysterious and interesting and leads many teens to experiment.

5. It’s Attention Grabbing

Everyone wants attention, and teens especially do.  Hooking up with your same sex friend at a party is sure to grab the attention of other party goers and get people talking about you.  Whether this is in a good or bad way, many teens do not care either way.

6. It’s Cool

Um, Ellen is awesome.  Portia is hot.  Ugly Betty characters are gay and proud and teens feel that being bisexual is incredibly ‘in’ and what a lot of the celebrities are doing.

7. It’s Tolerant

My generation is all about being open, tolerant and diverse.  Hooking up with friends and same sex is the ultimate way of saying: “I am open to being with anyone and showing them love.”  A few teens I talked to say they do it because they can and it is a statement to being open about people.

8. It’s a Political Stance

“Being a bisexual is exercising my right as a person with free will.” Yup, quoted from a teen.  Many teens are hooking up with each other to make a statement that they believe it is a right to love and be loved by anyone you choose.

I think that being open-minded is critical, but making sure you are being true to your feelings is the most important.

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34 Responses to “Teen Trend: 7 Reasons Why It’s Cool to Pretend to be Bisexual”

  1. Dana
    July 11, 2008 at 2:09 pm #

    The way you present this makes it pretty clear that the “trend,” if it does exist (and I have no evidence either way), is really a matter of girls saying they are bisexual, not of boys saying they are. This implies that reason #2 above is one of the driving factors. Yes, bisexuality is a real sexual orientation, and there are those who are indeed attracted to both men and women, but girls who say they are bisexual only to attract boys aren’t really bisexual at all–the boy attraction is the ultimate goal here.

    I also have to note that while bisexuality may be seen as “cool” by some, there is still much anti-LGBT violence, including the murder of eighth-grade student Larry King last February. If people think being gay (or bi) is cool, that’s great–but let’s not forget that there are many who feel very much the opposite.

  2. Vanessa
    July 11, 2008 at 3:48 pm #


    I completely agree with you, this is about being attractive and feeling attractive and wanted by boys.

    Unfortunately there is a lot of LGBT violence and it is a real problem, I wanted some parents to be aware of the other end of this spectrum, thank you for pointing out the more dangerous side of the problem.


  3. V
    July 26, 2008 at 9:59 pm #

    good points but there are alot of us who truly are bi not for attention or anything of the sort….so if a teens parents fnd out that he/she is having bisexual relations they should not jump to the conclusion that it is for one of these reasons they may very well be bisexual through and through

  4. Vanessa
    July 27, 2008 at 3:20 pm #


    Yes, good point. I think parents need to be more open minded in general about what their teen is experiencing whether it is experimentation or not.


  5. Char
    August 1, 2008 at 7:10 am #

    How do you know if your daughter is bisexual or just pretending to be?

  6. Vanessa
    August 1, 2008 at 8:31 am #

    I think talk to her about it, show her the post, talk to her about the trend and see what she says. Just make sure when you bring it up you do not pass judgment either way so she feels she can give you an honest answer.

  7. jordan
    August 13, 2008 at 10:59 am #

    Im a teen, and i see this happening alot. Lately ive been seeing girls doing this to get boys, but on the other hand, i think alot of people are bisexual and now that its being accepted more, more people are being open with their temptations, fantasies and desires.

    I myself, am 15 years old. I have expierienced a few guys, and 2 girls. Both the girls i was with was doing it so it would be hot (their boyfriends were there) but i would have done it one on one without guys being there. I dont know why i feel like this, but i find girls easy to talk to and women are so complex and beautiful and gentle, unique.

    Im not COMPLETELY sure if my temptations are just a phase ive been feeling for a few years, but im definetly not faking or doing it for a “trend” which is why i dont express being a bisexual openly. Only to really close friends.

    I wish teens wouldnt do this if they really arent.

    all in all, i agree with you.

  8. Vanessa
    August 14, 2008 at 10:47 am #

    hey jordan

    thanks for commenting, it was really interesting for me to read your experience, because many teens tell me the same thing. It is really good you are being openminded about your feelings and thinking about the possible reasons or instincts behind the desires.


  9. Jason
    September 23, 2008 at 10:00 am #

    Well as many of you stated, most of the reasons why girls are acting bisexual is for the wrong reasons or reasons that are insincere and not genuine. Reasons like doing it for attention from other guys. Yes, this could very well prove that they are not in fact bisexual, but are willing to go there to attract more attention from boys/guys, because there is little to no social stigma to it nowadays. But when these girls/women are acting bisexual for these “wrong reasons,” they are discovering that they actually like it during the process, and therefore become legitimate bisexuals. Girls are not innocent. I know a girl who at 14, slept with a married man of 24-25 years old. He knew her when she was 12, and on the day it happened, she actually hit on him. I know another girl who when she just turned 16, slept with D-Roc of the Ying Yang Twins when he was 28. She admitted to not being the innocent one in this situation. By the way, D-Roc knew her age, but obviously didn’t care. I know of another girl at age 17, who became involve with another girl in her school, and admitted they they went down on each other. She still claims to be straight, but she became more hung up on her relationship with this other girl than any other guy she dated. Very confusing, if you ask me.

  10. Samantha
    December 3, 2008 at 2:06 pm #

    Hi, Vanessa.

    I just wanted to point something else out. In the midst of this “bisexual craze”, there are some legits out there. I just want people to remember that even though, yes, this is a huge fad right now, there are some genuinely confused teenagers out there, and all they want is help.

    I am 19, and I’ve known that I was bisexual since I was about 16. It’s been difficult, especially with this being a trend among teenagers. I didn’t even tell anyone until about a year ago, because I didn’t want people to brush me off as one of those attention-seeking teenagers. My parents still don’t know, actually.

    So, yeah, it is a fad, and it is hard to differentiate someone who’s giving into a fad and someone who isn’t. But I just wanted to let it be known that there are some real ones out there, and we don’t like that this is a fad. It trivializes what we actually have to go through.

  11. Vanessa
    December 3, 2008 at 2:11 pm #


    Yes, totally agreed! Thank you for pointing it out, people pretending to be bisexual because it is ‘cool’ or whatever are hurting those who actually are attracted to both sexes naturally.


  12. Josh
    March 31, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    Hi Vanessa

    The situation is a little diffrent at my school. The girls don’t really act bisexual, its the guys. All the guys thinks it cool to hit on there guy friends or to grab them in inappropriate ways. It gets a little annoyying at times becasue I have friends that truly are bisexual, and I see how uncomfortable it makes them feel. I myself am not completly sure what way I want to go yet but I agree that people need to stop faking. The worst thing of all is that sometimes the ones that act the most bisexual are completly homophobic.

  13. Vanessa Van Petten
    April 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    Hi Josh

    This is a really really interesting observation. Thank you so much for sharing. I think being genuine is the most important things and not faking it, you are right,

  14. Lisa
    June 6, 2009 at 8:06 pm #

    I found everyone’s comments very interesting.

    I unfortunately, am dealing with a barely 13 year old that just tells me she thinks she is bi. I find it hard to believe because apparently half of the girls at school are now bi. My daughter, unfortunately, is the biggest follower I’ve ever seen. She can’t think for herself or be herself to save her life. Everything she disliked or made fun of at the beginning of school is now her favorite thing to do or be. In the past month, my husband and I have had to deal with her getting kicked off the bus for smoking, I found a disturbing note saying how she misses screwing around with a boy everyday and in front of the whole bus (even while she was “dating” another boy) all while half the school has rumors about her doing drugs and being pregnant, and another note from her actual boyfriend begging her to stop smoking and cutting herself. Now she’s bisexual too. Of course this is lower on the “holy crap totempole,” but what gives? What else is to come? Reputation is all you have in school, why would you do everything you can to get a bad one?
    Neeless to say this whole bi thing puts an end to the sleepovers. I wouldn’t let her have her boyfriend over for the night; I’m not going to let her have her girl “friend” over for the night.

  15. Zach
    June 18, 2009 at 9:51 pm #

    I seem to believe the Kinsey Report. I believe most people are bisexual to various degrees with few people who are actually completely straight or gay. But maybe I'm biased because I'm bisexual. I find the political stance of it to be oppressive, so that's not cool. I lost a lot of HS friends who found out that I had sex with the same sex as myself, so that wasn't cool. I didn't want anybody to know, so I didn't want attention. I grew up very religious, and it wasn't about defying my beliefs. I just think adults see more of it today because people aren't as afraid to be open about it. I don't see it as naughty or wrong either, but I don't think you believe that either so I'm not really sure I agree or disagree with you, all I can say is I think bisexuality is more common than you're giving it credit to be.

  16. Zach
    June 18, 2009 at 9:51 pm #

    I seem to believe the Kinsey Report. I believe most people are bisexual to various degrees with few people who are actually completely straight or gay. But maybe I'm biased because I'm bisexual. I find the political stance of it to be oppressive, so that's not cool. I lost a lot of HS friends who found out that I had sex with the same sex as myself, so that wasn't cool. I didn't want anybody to know, so I didn't want attention. I grew up very religious, and it wasn't about defying my beliefs. I just think adults see more of it today because people aren't as afraid to be open about it. I don't see it as naughty or wrong either, but I don't think you believe that either so I'm not really sure I agree or disagree with you, all I can say is I think bisexuality is more common than you're giving it credit to be.

  17. Matthew
    July 23, 2009 at 7:23 pm #


    I think that it is very cruel of you not letting your daughter have any friends spend the night at her house because you now know that she is bisexual. The fact that she likes girls, doesn’t mean that her friends fall into that attraction category.

  18. Shelbi
    December 12, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    Ok well I’m 15 and I’ve been into boys and girls my whole life. I never came out about to anyone but 2 years ago. But even when I was little I had interest in girls..never did anything about it. But i thought some gurls were cute. I didn’t actually experiment with girls till I was 13. I’ve been with 2girls sexual and I no i like girls. I’ve also been with a few boys and I like them too. I never did It 2 be cool..It’s just how my body feels. But I didn’t come out till I found out some other of my friends were bi. Even my best friend is bi. If poeple don’t like me being bi I don’t care It’s just who I am. Never do something because u think It’s cool.

  19. jasmine
    December 26, 2009 at 7:59 pm #

    im a girl and im 12 i no im bisexual ive been attracted to girls since i was 10 ive been asked out by 2 guys but i dont want them i want this hott girl in my science class dont no if she bisexual she kissed her friend on th cheek and i think she has a boyfriend so it wont ruin her rep how do i find out shes bi and if she is should we experimint????????????

  20. Vanessa Van Petten
    December 28, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    Hi Jasmine

    I think you should try talking with her and getting to know her, just like you would with another boy.


  21. jasmine
    January 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    but what if the girl i like dosent like me??

  22. JOJO
    February 12, 2010 at 3:14 am #

    My 14 year old daughter says she wants to spend Valentine’s Day with her girlfriend-She says she is bi-sexual and shouts it from the roof tops. I know my daughter to be a attention seeker and believe that is the reason behind her “bi-sexuality” I told her if she comes to me at a more mature age (20’s) I will be leading the parade but I don’t believe a 14 yr old knows what sexual orientation they are. My problem is I have tryed to explain my view but she is throwing a tantrum – I truly don’t know what to do – do I let her go on a date with this girl – I am trying to stay open but I am not comfortable condoning this behavior at her age. I don’t know what the right thing to do is- please I welcome your advice on how to handle this.

  23. Nameless
    April 29, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    I’m 15 and a few of my friends have been claiming bisexuality, but they’re always with guys and never seem to have an interest for girls (my friends are girls.)

    Since I was 11, I have been attempting to find my severe attraction to girls. I was scared to tell people because my best friend thought it was immoral.

    Anyway, it offends me that it’s a “trend” for teens to say they’re bisexual when I’ve been ashamed of my bisexuality for years and trying to fight the feelings and my friends are just sort of throwing it around. It’s find to be proud, but they are painfully, obviously not bisexual. And everybody knows it.

    I like girls a lot more than guys but I do like guys somewhat as well.

    The bisexual trend is freaking insulting and I am personally offended.

  24. deb
    March 1, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    I am a mother of a 15 yr old girl, who last night told me she was bi???
    I don’t believe her, she has been out with boys and only two days ago was chasing one who was 19. So today she’s bi……
    I get sick of it, I have been through the whole spectrum with her, having boys sleep over, going to stay at all night parties, going to huge gigs with 50,000 people, doing her own gigs with no insurance, got drunk and gave that up, thank god…I will just sit this one out, I’m so over it…..the bad language, the lack of respect, the selfishness and the no contact, i pay for her iphone, she doesn’t even answer it when i ring….blah…blah…teenagers…..crap for parents that’s all it is

  25. To all parents and all who inquires,
    I am a 17 year old female, who is not faking. I’m not trying to be cool. I actually want to keep it a secret. On first impressions, I am labeled a good girl, because I try my best to do the right thing and I work hard in school. That’s who I am. Being raised catholic, I simply was in a state of denial untill about a year ago. I am bisexual . And will identify heterosexual to the general public because it’s none of their business. Being Bisexual might be trendy but it has been pegged as slutty, cool, sexy, and that’s not what I want to be defined by. Please keep an open mind if your teen tells you that they are not heterosexual, because as a parent you should love your child unconditionally. Let’s stop obsessing over sex. (excuse my grammar it’s 3am)
    -thanks for reading-

  26. Rory
    April 1, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

    I am a 17 year old girl. And just like the previous commenter (Bisexuality may be trendy,but it’s also real) I am truly bi. I have thought both guys and girls were cute since 2nd grade. If that’s not real I don’t know what is. I have a boyfriend, but I am also “allowed” to date girls. Yes, he thinks it is hot. No that is not why I am bi. I am just lucky enough to have found a guy who doesn’t get totally jealous and weird over it. I don’t care that he thinks it’s hot, but it is nice not to stress what he thinks.
    Nobody but my boyfriend and the girls I have talked to and dated know I am bi. I am so not ready to come out. My parents don’t even know. If it was about attention, would I do that?
    Not everyone who says they are bi is faking, and even if you think your child or friend is faking, try to not show it. If they are faking no reaction from you will make it go away sooner, if they are NOT faking they will always look back and remember you being supportive….actually…either way they’ll remember you being supportive. And that’s a good thing.

  27. Jimmy
    May 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    Ok. Jordan just explained to you that she is 1.) FIFTEEN!!! years old. and 2.) having “sex” with girls, while boys are watching. And you condone this 15 year old child doing this why??? SHE IS FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. SHE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT SHE IS YET!!! OR what her “preferences” are. SHE. IS. A. CHILD. End of file. I also believe that in the interest of stopping an innocent 15 year old girl from being raped by one of these clowns out here, that “maybe” this type of behavior should not be encouraged by people like you. Ya know? People like this treating 15 year olds as though they were adults, is why these kids expect to be treated that way, and consequently have no respect for adults. They are CHILDREN. Period.

  28. Hannibal
    May 30, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Jimmy — that’s just not fair! I am 14. I am bisexual. I KNOW what I’m feeling. I KNOW I’m not straight. Just because I am young doesn’t mean I woudn’t know what I AM. I am in love with a girl, but I have also had a boyfriend or two. I have never even felt what this girl gives me by just breathing than what my past boyfriend could ever do. She is the most amazing human being I’ve seen so far. I live in a VERY small rural area (34 people in my whole class). Coming out is impossible, friends oppose it, 3 pastors in my family including my dad. But saying I don’t know what I am feeling is like saying I don’t know my name, or my address, or what color my eyes are. I know what I am. I know that when this girl walks around a corner and I’m 4 feet away from her and my knees give out, I’m feeling SOMETHING. I know that when she sits beside me and I smell her perfume and start to sweat and shiver, I’m feeling SOMETHING. I know that when I watch her walk by my locker and lose balance, I’m feeling SOMETHING. I know that when I rush out of classes just to get to walk by her in the hallway and see if she notices me, I’m feeling SOMETHING. Now I’ve been in denial the past few months since I’ve spent time managing the softball team she plays on about my sexuality. But I know that what I feel is strong. Strong enough that when she goes to the National Guard this year and will never see me again (she isn’t a close friend) I will let her go, I won’t tell her my feelings before she leaves. I know it would hurt her. It would also hurt me to no end. I live in such a small area that EVERYONE in the whole dang county would be shunning me from existence. I cannot wait until I go to college. Because Jimmy — I know what I am feeling.

  29. Ashley
    June 22, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    I am 15 years old and I think it’s stupid that people define themselves solely by their sexual orientation. I’m hetero, but that’s not all that defines me. I also happen to enjoy drawing and painting, I play eleven musical instruments, speak thirteen languages (just the basics), I read and write music,I’m the tallest girl in my grade, I have marched with the high school band an entire year earlier than most, I have two cats, I want to be an animator, and I sing like a dying animal. I’ll let you decide. What is the most noteable thing about me.

  30. Ash
    February 24, 2012 at 2:47 am #

    I started coming to terms with my sexuality at a very, very young age.  I am bisexual.  I never came out to my mother, and still haven’t even though by now I’m sure she wouldn’t be surprised…  I noticed in high school that many girls were claiming bisexuality for the very reasons mentioned in this blog and I found it frustrating and offensive… but I don’t know how I feel about the comments of parents with children coming out to them, maybe it is teenage angst (we’ve all been there, done that, right?)   On one hand, teenagers don’t give their parents enough credit, but on the other maybe your children are really struggling.  Do you not remember what it was like at that age?  It’s a very confusing, stressful mess.  Sexuality is a very sensitive subject, most of what kids know about sexuality they learned from TV, internet, or kids at school and none of those are necessarily credible sources.  Why do they have to learn about it that way?  Because parents refuse to talk to them about it, does it make you uncomfortable?  If they are faking bisexuality for whatever reason then they will grow out of it just like they will grow out of any fad they’re following.  If they are bisexual it doesn’t make them a lesser person, we are not slut, we are not immoral, and we need acceptance and love just like everyone else. I am not promoting underage sex by any means, but unfortunately we all know it happens.  The best you can do is talk to them and make sure they are safe. 
    I saw someone say that the boyfriend who allows his girlfriend to also date women is cheating…I am going to have to STRONGLY disagree.  First of all, why is it your business on whether or not someone’s relationship is strictly monogamous?  You can have a perfectly healthy relationship as long as everyone is on the same page.  It’s all about finding like-minded people, isn’t that how you make friends and have relationships?  Different strokes for different folks; as long as they aren’t directly affecting you I don’t understand what the issue is.
    This is starting to get a little rant-y so I will end by reiterating, talk to you children, and accept that some people don’t have the same thought process as you and that’s just fine. 

  31. Samuel Brown
    August 16, 2012 at 6:57 am #

    This article simply increases the misunderstanding of bisexuality, and is the reason why I have never come out to my parents as being bisexual (despite being bisexual for around 5 years now).

    You are contributing to the misery of thousands of teenagers who are struggling with their sexuality and recieving no support from their families because they think it is a ‘trend’ or ‘phase’ (even some areas of the LGBT community have this mentality).

    Teenagers should have the freedom to experiement with their sexuality without their parents dismissing it as attention seeking.

  32. MGuns
    April 19, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    You’re right, defining one’s self based on “sexual orientation” is pretty ridiculous. I would say it’s akin to walking around saying “I stand up to pee” or “I sit down to pee”


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