What is a Barsexual?

Mary McMahon

A barsexual is a woman who kisses or flirts with other women only in bars and other public settings. As such, barsexuals are considered to have a heterosexual orientation, because they only flirt with women in a public venue for the shock value, not with the intention of establishing relationships with them. As a casual survey of sites which publish images from spring break trips would suggest, many barsexuals are young college students, who may engage in barsexual behavior for attention, more than anything else.

Barsexuals may like flirt with both genders while on spring break.
Barsexuals may like flirt with both genders while on spring break.

While barsexuals may act like bisexuals or lesbians at bars and parties, they prefer the company of men. Many flirt with other women because they are aware that it attracts attention, or because they are intoxicated and feeling mischievous. Some straight men are intrigued by women who flirt with other women, so a barsexual often engages in such behavior with the explicit plan of snagging the eye of a man of interest, or to excite or interest her boyfriend.

Barsexuals may be overly flirtatious in public.
Barsexuals may be overly flirtatious in public.

A barsexual may approach a complete stranger who seems amenable, or she may flirt exclusively among her friends. Women who have close and physically intimate relationships with their friends may feel more comfortable flirting with their friends, where an already-established boundary dictates exactly how far the behavior will go. Others feel more confident flirting with strangers, and in a bar with a high concentration of college-age women with similar interests, they may feel fairly insulated from rejection.

As a general rule, a barsexual display rarely proceeds much further than kissing, and it is typically very much a display, as the goal is to be watched. In some locales, such behavior is actively encouraged and promoted, and the sight of two women flirting may be greeted with cheers from the surrounding crowd.

Some people view barsexuals with disdain, much like straight men who are “gay for pay” in the adult film industry. Once could argue that a barsexual is essentially a tease, projecting a sexual orientation which she does not possess. The proliferation of films featuring college age women on spring break has seemingly led to a corresponding explosion of barsexuality, as some women are eager to be featured on such videos, and they may be willing to dip a toe into the barsexual pool in order to be filmed.

Barsexuals only flirt with others in a public venue for the shock value.
Barsexuals only flirt with others in a public venue for the shock value.

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Discussion Comments


There are too many labels out there. What happened to just being a person? Do we really need to have subsets after subsets of labels for normal human behavior? Instead of labeling, one should just accept the person for who he or she is.


Jerks like these women should get a big unwanted surprise if people found out that they are just messing with women's minds to turn on men. Sick.


Would it also be true that a male who is very flirtatious and possessive acting at work but never privately, even avoiding private contact, may be homosexual but projecting a straight image?


Very insightful.

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