Whereas characters with normal lifespans are usually depicted as being attracted to one gender exclusively
, immortal characters often turn out to be much less picky about gender. This could be attributed to the fact that we can't know for sure how human sexuality acts over a lifespan of centuries, or a strong belief in the Kinsey Scale from the author. Mostly, this is rationalized with a belief that someone who has lived long enough can look outside the box of sexual norms, or that in that amount of time someone
of an unexpected gender is bound to attract the character
. Or maybe they've just been around for so long that they're running out of new things to try.
This trope does have some Unfortunate Implications
, however, in that it ignores the very real pattern of being attracted to one gender that is displayed by gay and straight people alike throughout their lives. Many an author also lumps it together with Immortality Immorality
, feeding into the notion that bisexuality/omnisexuality isn't a legitimate orientation as much as it is promiscuity
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Anime and Manga
- Possibly explains why all the ElfQuest elves (some immortal, some just very long-lived) are bisexual.
- Chris Claremont originally intended to write Wolverine as bisexual, and although he may or may not be technically immortal, his Healing Factor definitely grants extended longevity and makes him hard to kill. Of course, at the time, fans of comic books were probably less likely to be able to grasp the idea of "a manly dude that swings both ways" and so that angle was dropped. We know better now, though.
- His son Daken seems to be less choosy about whom he seduces though.
- This was semi-canonized in the Alternate Universe series X-Treme X-Men, where Wolverine, here known by his birth name of James Howlett, is bisexual and in a relationship with Hercules, which some fans interpreted as a subtle nod to Claremont's original intention.
- As Claremont eventually revealed, Mystique is over a hundred years old; she has had relationships with several men, but her most enduring one was that with Irene Adler aka Destiny. Mystique is also bisexual in another way, having spent years in male shape(s). This was even how the character Nightcrawler was originally supposed to be born (with Mystique impregnating Destiny while in her male form). Marvel ultimately named the idea too controversial, so Kurt is Azazel and Mystique's son instead, but the story that revealed this is so reviled that more than one subsequent writer has considered a retcon to make Claremont's version canon.
- Hob Gadling from The Sandman, though it's mentioned only in passing in the final issue.
- Averted at least twice in The Dresden Files: In Blood Rites it's revealed that Lord Raith, the King of the White Court Vampires (who are essentially incubi and succubi and feed on lust rather than blood) keeps House Raith in order by sexually dominating his offspring in order to enforce psychic subservience. However, as Lord Raith is one of the few White Court vampires who isn't bisexual, he instead attempts to kill his male offspring in non-direct ways (since the White Court as a whole frowns on a lack of subtly in one's evil plots).
- Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf has an immortal man switch genders after a long period of slumber. Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen turned the character into a full-fledged immortal bisexual.
- In The Witcher books, one of the witches mentions that when you live that long you will try everything eventually.
- One of the Light Others from Night Watch named Ignat is a master of seduction, and doesn't care about the gender of his targets. He's not quite immortal, but he and all other Others can maintain youth for up to centuries, and it's implied that his bisexuality is at least in part because he's bored. He's possibly the only bisexual Other shown, but a lot of them tend toward being The Hedonist.
- He also doesn't mind having a threesome with two sorceresses, one of whom has a boyfriend in the next room.
- It's pretty much stated that the Others don't abide by human rules of courtship and fidelity. Just before discovering Svetlana in Ignat's arms, Anton finds two Others sleeping after a night of passion, both of whom have human spouses. He notes that two field operatives sleeping together is no different from a female Combat Medic providing "comfort" to a soldier in a trench. His treatment of Svetlana sleeping with Ignat is likewise detached... which infuriates Svetlana to no end.
- The Vampires — yes, all of them — in The Vampire Chronicles. Partial aversion though in that Rice's vampires are not capable of regular sex. Also, Lestat himself was already bisexual when he was still human, as were at least some of the other vampires.
- Henry Fitzroy from the Blood Books, although he was apparently bisexual during his human lifetime anyway. Vaguely implied with another, female vampire that Vicki encounters in a short story.
- A way of life in Dirge for Prester John. Not to mention taking lovers from a number of different species.
- Some people feel this way about Alice in Twilight. Though it's canonically stated that she's in love with Jasper, fans seem to think that's she also has feelings for Bella.
- Young adult vampire novelist Amelia Atwater-Rhodes has stated that many of the vampires in her canon are bisexual, having grown tired over the centuries of being romantically involved with a single gender.
- The premise of Incarnate by Jodi Meadows sort of leans on this. Everyone is reincarnated into different bodies over and over, and there's no guarantee that you'll be the same gender every time. So sexuality isn't really an issue.
- Changeling The Dreaming. As the kithain's reincarnation process isn't exactly tied down by things like gender, star-crossed lovers tend to be flexible just in case.
- In the New World of Darkness sourcebook Immortals, exactly one of the sample NPCs is off-handedly described as sleeping with both sexes. She is also a serial killer, although the book doesn't imply that her sexuality has been influenced by her immortality or that her frequent murders are a natural outgrowth of her sexuality.
- The Exalted — if not everyone in Creation — are typically portrayed as this. The Dragon-Blooded often take homosexual lovers outside of marriage to avoid the risk of siring bastards, the Lunars have easy access to Gender Bender powers and massive fecundity, the Solars are god-kings who traverse Creation like a man walking down the block and occasionally go into states of utter debauchery, and the Sidereals live for millennia and have fate powers that allow them to assume any role they want.
- In some Dungeons & Dragons supplements—those few that mention sex—elves are generally portrayed as being much more likely to be bisexual than humans and other "brief" races.
- Warhammer 40,000 mostly averts this trope, as the long-lived Space Marines are asexual (although originally male). However, the Chaos God(dess) Slaanesh very much embodies this trope, being immortal and also the Chaos Deity of Sex and Perversion.
- Vamp from Metal Gear.
- The Asari from Mass Effect are a One-Gender Race (all female, in appearance, anyway) and can have children with any gender or species. They can live to be almost 1000. They do sometimes mate with their own species, but those who do are frowned upon by creating more pureblood asari, as it leads to genetic aberrations - the most dangerous being the ardat-yakshi.
- Reaver from Fable II is a very nasty example.
- Kathryn "Artemis" Kennedy of Eternal Knights professes missing her dead male lovers, then displays her bisexuality by engaging in lesbian sex with Detective Erica Richards.
- The Drow (and presumably other Fae) of Drowtales are The Ageless that live in an Everyone Is Bi society, with purely heterosexual and homosexual people existing as minorities.
- Applies to at least the highblooded trolls of Homestuck. It's normal for all trolls to be bisexual; monosexuality does exist, but it's not common or considered to be a big deal (it's kind of similar to how we'd view someone who's only attracted to redheads: not typical, but not remarkable enough to have a word for it or much of a stigma attached to it). However, the trope doesn't apply to all trolls because the lowest castes have shorter natural lifespans than humans, and somewhat higher up the hierarchy are trolls with humanlike lifespans, and so forth.