Type keyword(s) to search

Quick Hits

Perfect Match Continues to Deliver on the Bisexual Representation Front

Dominique gives Chris (and the world) a much-needed lesson on what "bisexual" actually means.
  • Dominique Defoe (Screenshot: Perfect Match)
    Dominique Defoe (Screenshot: Perfect Match)

    Whether the world is ready or not, Netflix’s Perfect Match is back for another round of chaos. The Nick Lachey-hosted series, which first made a splash in 2023, centers on a group of contestants from various Netflix reality shows who travel to a tropical villa and compete against each other to find their “perfect match.” Season 2 (which premieres July 7) features familiar faces like Micah Lussier from Love Is Blind, Harry Jowsey of Too Hot to Handle, and the return of Season 1 winner Dom Gabriel. 

    Perfect Match is the definition of junk food TV — the show is an absolute trainwreck, but it’s impossible to look away from it. Contestants compete in the most ridiculous “compatibility challenges” possible (think: blindfold kissing), trade partners like Pokémon cards, and literally dry-hump each other in front of the cameras. The whole premise is just deeply unserious, and that’s precisely what makes the series so addictive to watch.

    However, there’s one thing that makes Perfect Match particularly stand out in a sea of reality shows: bisexual representation. Season 1 included three openly bisexual contestants — Kariselle Snow (Sexy Beasts), Francesca Farago (Too Hot to Handle), and Abbey Humphreys (Twentysomethings: Austin) — and featured multiple conversations about identity, coming out, and bi-erasure. Francesca and Abbey even match with each other at one point.

    Season 2 continues to deliver on bisexual representation. Dominique Defoe, who first appeared on Season 4 of Too Hot to Handle, is open from the start about being interested in both men and women. While on a blind date with Chris (Dated & Related) in Episode 2, she casually says, “I didn’t find any guys that I was, like, really interested in [on Too Hot to Handle]. I did like a girl on the show.” In turn, Chris responds by asking her if she’s actually bisexual or just “bi-curious” and calling her sexuality “definitely fun.” Even if he doesn’t have ill intentions, his remarks are still ignorant. Bisexuality has long been stereotyped as “just a phase” or a faux identity that women adopt just for male attention, and attitudes like Chris’ are all too common. 

    This isn’t the first time men on Perfect Match have fetishized their partners’ sexuality. In Season 1, Joey told Francesca he was completely accepting of her identity, declaring, “I accept you for you, because it's who you are. It's literally who you are.” While his response was a breath of fresh air, the sweet moment was also cheapened in the next episode when he enthusiastically told Kariselle that it would be “great” if she brought another woman into their relationship. Multiple guys also made a point of emphasizing “hot” they found bisexual women.

    At first, it seems like Chris’ comments in Season 2 are just going to be breezed over. However, when the topic of Dominique’s bisexuality arises again in Episode 3, she doesn’t hesitate to keep him in check. “A big curiosity of mine is just, like, how you are, like, with your bisexuality,” he says. “It opens up a lot of doors.” It’s unclear exactly what he’s asking here — does he think bisexuality is synonymous with being non-monogamous? Does he genuinely have no idea what the term “bisexual” even means? Exactly what “doors” does this open up, Chris?

    While Dominique stays calm and collected, she also squashes his ignorance like a bug. “For me, I’m monogamous,” she says coolly. “A lot of people look at bisexuality, and they think it’s like, ‘Oh, they’re like freaks. They have threesomes, and they have open relationships, and stuff like that.’ But that’s an individual choice.” 

    She’s right, and she should say it. Yes, there are bisexual people who practice non-monogamy, but bisexuality doesn’t automatically mean someone can’t be happy in a committed relationship. “This man is like, very lost,” she later says to the camera. “He’s like, making a spectacle of my sexuality.” She also adds that people “wouldn’t ask a straight girl a question about how promiscuous she is,” which is another valid point. 

    While it’s frustrating that misconceptions and stereotypes about bisexuality are still so prevalent, it’s refreshing to see them actually called out for once. Aside from a few exceptions like The Ultimatum: Queer Love and The Bi Life, reality dating shows are still overwhelmingly heterosexual. Even when bisexual contestants are featured, their sexuality is usually just used as a means for drama, like Carlton and Dominique’s fight in Season 1 of Love Is Blind

    If future seasons of Perfect Match feature more bisexual contestants, it would be great to see more depictions of people just being supportive (or at the very least, not weird) of their partners’ sexuality. In the meantime though, at least it’s deeply satisfying to watch Dominique quickly shut Chris’ ignorance down.

    Episodes 1-6 of Perfect Match Season 2 are streaming on Netflix. Episodes 7-9 premiere June 19, and Episode 10 arrives June 21. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Kelly Martinez is a TV Reporter based in Los Angeles. Her previous work can be found at BuzzFeed and People Magazine, among other outlets. She enjoys reading, spending time with her cat, and explaining the plot of Riverdale to people.

    TOPICS: Perfect Match, Netflix, Reality TV