Our society tends to view the world in black and white. In the realm of sexuality, that means people think in terms of gay or straight, male or female. If you don't fit into one category, you're often clumped into the other. In reality, there's quite a bit of grey area. There are some ways to try and tell if someone falls into that the grey area of sexuality--bisexuality. Keep in mind that there's no way to be certain, except maybe asking the person directly.
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Check out what kind of clothes the person typically wears. If they weave in elements of the opposite sex's attire, it could mean that they are comfortable breaking the conventions of gender and therefore may also be comfortable exploring both sexualities. This could mean wearing baggier jeans and button-up shirts for girls. For guys, this could be wearing tight fitting T-shirts and eyeliner.
See if they manage to tiptoe around the gender of their exes. This could mean that they never mention their exes' names, choosing to simply refer to them as "my ex" instead. They might avoid using gender-specific pronouns like "he" and "she," and always use the word "they" instead. This might be due to many people's insecurities about dating a bi person. If a girl is bi, another girl might always suspect that she'll leave her for a man, while a man might hide the fact he's afraid she prefers female companionship.
Figuring out if a girl is truly bi can be a bit tricky. Since the popular male fantasy of watching two women together has taken our society by storm, girls will sometimes kiss other girls either because their boyfriends want them to, because it will get the attention of men, or because they're drunk. If a lesbian were to approach one of these girls and make advances on her, chances are there would be some making out. However, these girls rarely have any interest in having sex or pursuing a relationship with another girl, which essentially makes them straight.
One ingenious and easy way of figuring out someone's sexuality is by looking them up on a social networking site. Believe it or not, most people are much more likely to reveal their sexuality and other intimate details of their life on their web profiles than to communicate them openly in real life.
Ask the people that know the individual. In many circles, details about friends and acquaintances get swapped faster than the flu in December. If that doesn't work, politely ask the individual yourself. Just don't expect to get a straight answer.
Tips and warnings
- While sexual preferences remain constant for many people, it's not that rigid of a constraint for others. Some people may be gay one day and then bi the next. Others will be bi one year and straight the next. Therefore, trying to pin down a definition of someone's sexuality can be pretty elusive.