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Vanity Fair

Women dating or marrying a bisexual man used to be taboo. But thanks to the hard work of LGBT activists and their allies, times have changed.

A 2016 survey by Glamour magazine found that almost two-thirds of women "wouldn't date a man who has had sex with another man."

Socialite Amber Rose, who is bisexual herself, once said she would have a problem dating a bisexual man.

"Personally — no judgment — I wouldn't be comfortable," she said during a Facebook Q&A. "I just wouldn't be comfortable with it and I don't know why."

But recent studies show women are increasingly warming up to the idea of dating bisexual men.

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Researchers in Australia interviewed 79 women in relationships with bisexual men. The researchers found that bisexual men were better in bed and more caring long-term partners and fathers.

The women who took part in the Australian study said they could not go back to dating straight men after being with bisexual men.

According to the women, straight men carried more emotional and misogynistic baggage.

The reasons were varied. The researchers found that bi men were more open to experimenting in bed. Whereas straight men were most likely to question their own masculinity if a woman asked them to engage in less heteronormative sexual acts, such as anal penetration by their women partners.

"Their partners had to question their masculinity and sexuality," Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli tells The Independent. "Because of this, [bisexual men] were far more sensitive and desired to establish an equitable relationship. They were far more respectful. They were keen fathers and wanted to set up equitable gender relationships in the home."

The women found themselves exploring BDSM, polyamory, and were themselves encouraged to explore same-sex relationships, although most women chose not to go down that path.

However, it would be a mistake to paint relationships between bisexual men and women as black and white utopias, says Dr Pallotta-Chiarolli, who added that bi men are still subjected to "incredible stigmatization, marginalization, and discrimination for their bisexuality."

"One example was of a man who basically married his female partner to cover his same-sex attractions," says Dr Pallotta-Chiarolli.

"He did, however, go overseas and brought his male partner back. He threatened her not to say anything to their religious and ethnic community, and she basically became their housekeeper and for the mother of his children."

Dr Pallotta-Chiarolli says the lack of LGBT sex education in schools is partly to blame for these issues between women and bisexual men and why this pairing is poorly understood.

Still, Dr Pallotta-Chiarolli said, "We had some women who said that after dating a bi man, they could never go back to dating a straight man."

"Bisexual men were more open to designing a relationship that works for them, rather than a straight man who would come in with certain assumptions of what that relationship should be."

She adds: "You always end up getting more than what normative society sets as what a relationship should be."

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