Bi Folks Tell Us About The Best (And Worst) Dating Sites

8/28/2018

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Whether you’re looking to hook up for life or for a night, one of the best ways to meet someone is online. How an app or site chooses to cater to people of all genders and sexualities can greatly impact bi folks’ experience. So many times we show up to find binary gender options for ourselves, and without the option to choose more than one gender to search for. Here are some snapshots of what online dating is like for bi folks.

Sites tell us right away how bi-friendly they are through their user experience.

“Most of the ‘big’ ones are only binary gender.” Evan

“HER let me specifically ID as bi. Tinder just gave me a bio, where I stated that I was bi.” Gabrielle

It was so nice to be able to self id as Bi from step 1 on OkCupid. You don’t realize how important facets of your identity are until they’re erased or you aren’t invited to communicate/explain them.” Marcy

“I tried [Match] a while ago and ended up deleting it. I had to keep manually switching back and forth between woman/man and women/women. It was exhausting.” Cat

“I played with the signup [Match] had and….none say I’m a woman or [man] who is into both…I never signed up.” Amore

“[OkCupid] has many gender options.” David

“I refused to use [POF] despite a friend recommending it to me, as it doesn’t let you search for more than one gender at once.” Andy

Apps can allow for choice—but make it binary, or limited in other ways.

“[Bumble] was a clean app, could easy set my interest to both men & women (although those were the only 2 options for gender, so obviously not a super inclusive app).” Michaella

“I keep POF mostly because I have a friend who is very successful with it, though she only uses it to seek males. I change my settings for which gender I want to seek/match every couple weeks, and use it fairly minimally.” Evan

 

J.R. Yussuf goes deep into his experience with Tinder as a bi person:

“Listen, I’m not begging nobody to be with me. And I don’t want to be with anyone who’s not proud of every part of me.”

No matter how bi-friendly an app is, folks are still experiencing biphobia.

Worse than the sites are the people on them, very bi-phobic.” David

“First, I had one profile – Rikki, Bi. All that profile got was weird super sexual messages, especially from couples looking for a threesome, gay women NEVER responded to my messages. Then I made two profiles – Rikki, Straight and Rikki, Gay. It felt terrible. But I got messages and responses to my messages, genuine ones. Learned a lot of people turn off’ bisexual people coming up in their viewing results. When men learned I was actually bi, most asked for a threesome. When women learned I was actually bi, most stopped talking to me altogether.” Rikki (on OkCupid and Tinder)

“I noticed that before I put that I was bi in my bio, both men and women were swiping right on me. When I added that I was bi, the number of guys matching with me went up, and almost no women matched with me. It was a very dramatic change.” Michaella

“I’ve only been using Grindr. I get what I call the biren quite a bit from guys on there. Whenever…I say I’m bi and not gay, I always get an ‘ooooooh.’ After getting birened, the conversation tends to either change or outright stop, even if I text back later.” Mark

“With [OkCupid] it seems like at least it’s out there. But I usually respond to other bis for the fact of hopefully less judgement and any gay or lesbian women I’ve tried to chat with never respond.” Cate

“HER was more of an environment with biphobia. Like specifying that they only date other lesbians. And therefore no bi/pan women. But they’d never be like ‘no bi women!!’ So I quit HER and I only use Tinder.” Gabrielle

“When identified as bi in my profile, it was just wild – can i suck your toes? do you wanna fuck older daddies? LOTS of offers from couples, just wanting sex not a relationship. when ‘bi’ wasn’t on my profile, i got nice messages. hi how are you? how is your thursday evening going? So people in terms of what message content they thought was okay to send me based on my sexuality. btw I dont want to yuck anyone’s yum – threesomes with couples is fine. but as a bi woman, when 98% of my messages are that when im looking for a nice romantic date, sucks.” Rikki, continued

Dating sites/apps can and should welcoming and fun!

“I find that the most bi friendly sites are the ones that give you a variety of orientations to choose from on your profile, and let you search for multiple genders. OkCupid and Tinder are sites/apps that come to mind.” Andy

“Grindr itself does it’s best to be welcoming to everyone (bis, trans folk, enbies, intersex, etc.)” Mark

“I didn’t feel unwelcome on any apps. I predominantly used HER & Tinder.” Gabrielle

“I find [OkCupid] to be the most inclusive, however I think I get more matches on Tinder because more people use it. But Bumble is great too.” Tabby

“Met my partner on OK Cupid. Three years ago it was one of the few (the only major site) that allowed people to self-id as Bisexual.” Marcy

“I think the joy of internet dating is that once you get to the point of meeting in person, they’re typically not biphobic. Bc they wouldn’t have made it through the swiping & dialogue if they were at that point.” Gabrielle

What is your experience like dating online as a bi person?

SB Swartz
SB Swartz is an author covering inclusive wellness, queer family, and reflections of our world as seen on tv. As a contributing writer for bi.org, SB created the Step Bi Step series for bi parents and originated the This Bi Life series showcasing bi community stories.

SB would very much like to talk to you about your pets, her pets, and the way you view the world. She's her favorite somebody's mama. And yes, she's #StillBisexual.

Find SB Swartz @sbswrites on Twitter and read more of her latest @sbswartz on Medium.