The Trope of the Depraved Bisexual

An exploration and lukewarm celebration.

Devon Price
Jun 22, 2018 · 13 min read
A distorted Bi Pride flag.

What is a Depraved Bisexual?

Some Depraved Bisexuals.
Raoul Silva from Skyfall
Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct

Depraved Bisexuals On Screen

Rose Armitage (Get Out).

One of the most chilling reveals of Get Out is that the protagonist Chris’ white, seemingly supportive girlfriend Rose has been working with her parents to kidnap and snatch the bodies of black victims for her entire adult life. In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, Chris discovers that not only has Rose ensnared scores of black men over the years, she also dated and kidnapped a black woman as well.

Frank Underwood (House of Cards).

Kevin Spacey, the actor who portrayed Frank Underwood, was fired from the show in response to sexual assault accusations leveled at him by Anthony Rapp. Spacey attempted to distract from these accusations, and disarm them, but framing his apology as a public coming-out as a queer man. None of that is what this section is about. This section is about Frank.

Frank-n-Furter (Rocky Horror Picture Show).

Another villain protagonist / Depraved Bisexual named Frank, Dr. Frank-n-Furter from the Rocky Horror Picture Show is depicted as perverse, fetishistic, controlling, and deeply selfish. Countless queer and trans people have latched onto the character because he is glamorous and charmingly transgressive, but the narrative unquestionably portrays him as a murderer and manipulator, who uses other people’s bodies for his own gratification.

Poison Ivy (Batman comics, The Animated Series, etc).

Perhaps the most positively-portrayed Depraved Bisexual on this list, Poison Ivy is an alluring, at times conniving femme fatale with relationships with both women and men. The degree to which her character is compassionate and sympathetic depends on the iteration of her (and of Batman) that you are viewing. In Batman: The Animated Series she is chaotic neutral, perhaps even chaotic good, breaking laws for her own good, but also to benefit the environment and her friend/lover, Harley Quinn. In contrast, in the film Batman & Robin, Ivy is purely self-interested, hypersexualized, and evil. She uses other people as pawns, drugs and seduces Robin, and takes pleasure in destruction pretty much for its own sake.

Logan Delos (Westworld).

The main plot of Westworld is kicked off when the absurdly wealthy, entitled heir to the Delos fortune, Logan, takes an interest in purchasing the park. Logan is lured to Westworld by its promise of adventure and carnal delights, specifically the promise of getting to fuck and murder as many sexy robot-people as he likes. From the outset of the show’s convoluted timeline, Logan avails himself to men and women of both the androids and human persuasion, while drinking heavily and firing guns with little regard for the harm he is causing.

Tony (The Crown).

A fictionalized version of the real-life Anthony Armstrong-Jones, Tony is a more subtle, yet still damaging, example of a Depraved Bisexual character. Within the show, he is initially an appealing, artistic influence in Princess Margaret’s life, a scooter-driving, nude-photograph-taking charmer who takes her out of her comfort zone. Soon, however, he is revealed to be sexually voracious, bisexual, and duplicitous.

Lee Garner Junior (Mad Men).

On Mad Men, Lee Garner Junior is one of the owners of Lucky Strike, the cigarette company that foots the bill for most of Sterling Cooper et al’s advertising endeavors. As the representative of Sterling Cooper’s biggest client, Lee Garner Jr. gets to pull quite a few strings to get what he wants. This involves demanding lavish parties, flirting openly with the married administrative assistant Joan Harris, sexually harassing agency partner Roger Sterling, and sexually assaulting the agency’s closeted gay Art Director, Salvatore Romano.

Billy Chenowith (Six Feet Under).

In some media depictions, Depraved Bisexuals are literally portrayed as mentally ill, and both their mental illness and bisexual are used as indicators of their moral bankruptcy or brokenness. Billy Chenowith from Six Feet Under is a prime example of that.

Lisa (Girl, Interrupted).

Angelina Jolie’s magnetic, antisocial character from Girl, Interrupted is another iconic example of a mentally ill Depraved Bisexual character. A literal sociopath who has been institutionalized countless times, Lisa is charming, uncontrolled, and sexually possessive. She uses sexual advances to receive help and favors from male guards at her institution and to keep female patients in her thrall. Her character is unstable and violent towards herself and others, and is sexually unrestrained. Lisa is willing to have sex with a stranger at a moment’s notice, and happy to berate and threaten even her closest friends to the point of suicidality.

Reflecting on The Depraved Bisexual

Bisexuals have come a long way. The public perception that we are indecisive, sexually out-of-control, or desprate for attention has abated, and increasing numbers of public figures are openly adopting the bisexual (or pansexual) label. Fictional depictions of bisexual characters have, slowly, begun to follow suit.

Devon Price

Written by

Nonbinary Social Psychologist & Writer in Chicago. They/Them pronouns only. MEDIA INQUIRIES: erikadprice at gmail dot com.