Easy does it, Easy

Friday, October 08, 2010

Question

My boyfriend and I have been together for about a year and a half. We’re totally in love, committed to each other, have an open and fluent line of communication and plan to spend the rest of our lives together.  

I’m bisexual and would love to share that side of me, and another woman, with my boyfriend.  

In the beginning of our relationship it was such a turn-on for me to hear stories about him with past lovers and his attraction to other women, but now that our relationship has gotten more serious, I’ve become possessive and jealous when he expresses this attraction. It now puts a knot in my stomach.  

My past has given me lots of trust and abandonment issues, and although I trust him 100 per cent, I can’t help but feel threatened whenever I try to think of a threesome experience.  I’m hoping you can help direct me to some resources/tools I can use to work through these issues, because I know that they are indeed my issues, and it makes me sad and frustrated to think that they’re stopping us as a couple from exploring the many possibilities (sexually and otherwise) my bisexuality might provide.

Answer

In her book Opening Up, Tristan Taormino uses the term New Relationship Energy – the palpable, electric attraction that occurs between new partners.

Though the expression is often applied to the polyamorous relationship model to signify an intimate relationship that comes into an existing one – sometimes eclipsing and/or threatening it – I think the term also suits a variety of situations where deep feelings can be misrepresentative, unrealistic or scary. In other words, sometimes the NRE we bring into a relationship can end up scaring or threatening us down the road. 

When you first hook up with a new lover, the chemicals conjured by great sex and fresh attraction can make you feel invincible. The general affirmation you receive from this makes you feel powerful and independent. All those nagging concerns, insecurities and unaddressed issues get glossed over or pushed to the back of the closet. You make wild, erotic pledges, elated with the thought of being the lover you’ve always dreamed of being. 

This can all leave you in a pretty vulnerable way when you get to the part of yourself that isn’t quite so bold. In a state of stupefied bliss, you went and shot your crotch off, and now you feel beholden to honour the lewd print. 

First things first, Blocked (and I want you to imagine me holding your hand while I’m saying this): bisexuality is an orientation, not a parlour trick we whip out to amuse people at parties. Nor is it a carrot we dangle in front of people to suggest we are up for anything without reciprocation or complication. Your bisexuality is not there to provide experiences. It is part of you, of course, but it is, like any orientation, attached to complex emotions and experiences. It does not make you indiscriminate or devoid of a chal-lenging history or insecurities.

I can feel your panic now about being abandoned unless you snap out of this "unattractive" state and behave in the way you first represented yourself. It’s okay, honey, really it is. You’ve just gotten to some little dude stuff. Talk to your partner about this. Perhaps tell them that in your haste, you may have made a few suggestions that really did float the little man in the boat, but you need to put them on hold and tackle some more difficult feelings. How about, for now, taking the threesome off the table and maybe visit a sex or swing club with the goal of simply flirting and chatting with people?

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