To Bi or Not to Bi

Friday, March 12, 2010

Question

I have been in a relationship for over a year now. My boyfriend is wonderful, so good to me. But I have an itch I just can't scratch. I have recently been thinking about getting with a girl, and how hot that would be, but I have only gone so far as to make out with them. My boyfriend is the jealous type. He lets me make out with girls if he is there. But I recently made out with one girl when he wasn't there and loved it. I watch lesbian porn when I am alone and picture myself with girls to turn myself on. I have always self-identified as straight, but then again, since I have only gotten the chance to kiss a girl, I wouldn't really know otherwise. How do you suggest I go about really figuring out my sexuality?

Answer

There is actually more than one question here. One is, obviously, about your fantasies about lesbian sex. But the other has to do with your current relationship and the commitment you've made to your boyfriend. Being bi-curious is no excuse to cheat on somebody. Lesbian sex is as real as sex with a guy. It counts as cheating, if the two of you are monogamous. Since he is the jealous type, and wants you to confine your girl-on-girl makeout sessions to times when he is present, I don't feel comfortable telling you to sneak off and have sexy adventures behind his back.

It's hard to work something like this out when you don't really know the results of your experiments. You may discover that looking at lesbian porn and fantasizing about other women works better for you than going to bed with them. You may find that you like women less than, equally, or more than you like sex with men. And it could be that much depends upon the individual. For some of us, the exceptional person will have such powerful appeal that the usual rules of sexual orientation get set aside.

Enjoying lesbian porn, thinking about sex with another woman, and titillating experiences with flirting and making out are pretty positive indicators that you could be bisexual. There's also a chance that women will be so much fun that you'll lose interest in guys. This could be permanent or temporary, while you party and explore all the nooks and crannies, so to speak, of girl/girl eroticism.

Be aware that many lesbians are suspicious of bisexual women and don't like having sex with women who have boyfriends. (And a handful consider it a challenge.) The idea of competing with a man for a woman's affection, and possibly losing her, is a heartbreaking one. Most lesbians prefer sex that could lead to a permanent relationship instead of one-night stands. Bisexual women are more likely to understand polyamorous relationships and be empathic about your situation.

It sounds like you don't have any trouble attracting women and connecting with them. The problem is finding an ethical way to go through with an opportunity and enjoy full-fledged lovemaking. Your boyfriend might feel more comfortable with a threesome so he can be present. I understand why. But it sounds like you want more privacy so you don't have to worry about his reaction. Group sex with a jealous boyfriend sounds inhibiting. He is probably afraid of losing you, and he may believe that he can't compete with a woman. If he's not bisexual himself, he probably doesn't understand that each gender offers something wonderful; life without male energy could be as unacceptable to you as a life in which you don't get to kiss other girls.

Try reading a copy of Dossie Easton's book The Ethical Slut (together, ideally) and see if any of her suggestions about how to open up a relationship sound workable. In my experience, hanging on to somebody by censoring their sexuality only creates resentment. I would rather have my partner go out and get what (or who) they want than sit at home watching them pine for an experience I can't provide. Maybe I'll lose them. Maybe I won't. But I don't want to keep somebody unless they are fully present with me. Even though jealousy and insecurity feel pretty bad, I'd rather work through those feelings than stifle somebody I love. If we have a good enough connection, they will want to come back to me, whether they have fun with somebody else or not. Strangely enough, I've had a lot of very good sex after my partner has a hot date with somebody else. I credit our open relationship with being able to celebrate a five-year anniversary with one of the finest people I've ever loved.

I hope the two of you can work it out. It would be a shame to lose a good relationship unnecessarily. Maybe the two of you could both wind up with a new girlfriend! I hope there's a way for you to have the man you love and the sweet-lipped beauties you long to caress.

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