One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do as a bisexual isn’t telling someone that I’m bisexual… it’s explaining why I am. It’s a conversation I’ve had countless times with a lot of people, from acquaintances to girlfriends, lovers, etc., and it’s not easy to explain to someone you’re having a relationship with why you’re not straight and why you’re not really gay. I learned that a lot of those people I explained myself to had an even harder time trying to get their heads around the answers to their questions and, early on, I learned that when someone “demands” that you tell them the truth, um, they can’t handle it.
Something I read a while back in the biphobia category placed a lot of emphasis on a partner’s feelings when they discover that the person they’re with is bisexual and the depth of emotional trauma they experience when they get hit with, “No, baby, I’m not gay – I’m bisexual, okay?” It’s a pretty shitty situation and I’ve seen some people react in some pretty bad ways and has made both of us wish that the question had never been asked and that an answer hadn’t been demanded. After having gone through this “too many times,” it made me adopt a somewhat harsh position: Don’t ask me any questions you don’t want to hear the answers to. I never want my sexuality to hurt someone’s feelings but unless they have a really open mind, yeah, I can pretty much assure that feelings will get hurt and confusion is going to reign because there’s just no easy way to tell a girlfriend or wife that the reason you’re bisexual has absolutely nothing to do with your feelings and desire for them.
I’ve had to sit and explain this from the beginning to the present moment, watching their face and body language carefully and, man, it doesn’t feel good to see the signs of revulsion and even the thought processes in play that somehow gets them to believe that my being bisexual means I’m somehow rejecting them. I’ve learned over the years that when you’ve had the sex more than once or twice – and way before you even met the person you’re with – you are now immediately suspected of going behind their back and, as one person put it, “Giving in to your gay feelings…” and that you will, without a doubt, always prefer the comfort of a man over that which a woman can provide.
I’ve been exasperated – what part of, “If I wanted to be with a man all the time, I wouldn’t be with you…” isn’t really understood? I found it horribly fascinating trying to explain why I enjoy sex with men – and for a lot of the same reasons she enjoyed sex with men because even when you think that you’re explaining some obvious and even logical points of commonality, their emotional responses just won’t allow them to see these things and that’s because, as I found, they’re not really listening to what I’m telling them – they’re thinking about how this is going to affect them and, again, I must be this way because I’m not happy with them and especially where sex is concerned. Uh, no, I was like this way before we even had sex – but what makes you think this? And, of course, over time, I got to understand why they’d think this and some of the things I learned have given me a lot of food for thought with heaping portions of love, sex, and relationships on my plate… and, oh, yeah, since I’ve indulged in dick in the past, that means, without any doubts in their minds, that I’m going to drop them in favor of a hard dick the first chance I get.
I’ve had them ask, “Are you really gay?” and, yeah, once upon a time, ooh, that used to piss me off to no end… but I learned not to get angry and point out to them that as far as I know, um, gay men don’t like pussy or, once, asking (because I was angry), “Did I just fuck you like I was gay? Huh?” The obvious just kind of goes right over their head because, again, they’re reacting emotionally and not really thinking and, at some point, I know their minds have gotten overloaded because I’ll hear some form of, “I don’t understand…” – and I’ve had to learn not to get bent out of shape at this statement. I mean, damn, I just sat here and explained this and answered your questions from A to Z… so what is it that you don’t understand? Okay, so, yeah, I know I might not have done the best job possible in explaining why I like sucking dick so much or why I used to really enjoy being fucked in my ass (and doing some ass-fucking myself) because, as I explained (and maybe not that well again) that a lot of the answers just don’t have any words to them and the best way I can answer this question is to ask her why she likes to suck dick and be fucked (but not necessarily in the ass, of course).
The usual answer is, “Because it feels good…” and that’s the ‘correct’ and most obvious answer. However, I was once told, in answer to my follow-on question, “Because I’m supposed to!” and I had to do a little mental scrambling to figure this one out and, yeah, it does make sense and is valid as an answer. Now, logically, it would seem that we really do have a lot more in common than we originally believed but, emotionally? Yeah, for them, it’s a major fucking kick in places a person would prefer not to be kicked in and I do understand it, just as their responses to this tells me a whole lot about their mindset about sex, too. Now, I’ve had some not go off the deep end on me – what a relief that is – but then I’ve found myself swearing on a stack of Bibles (and, one time, literally doing this) that I wasn’t going to sneak out and get some dick while with them; trust me, you really get to understand the whole monogamy thing. I’m not being condemned for being bisexual more than I am being warned, “You’d better not cheat on me with some dude!” Ah, but I’ve also been hit with the dreaded double standard when I discover that, hey, she likes pussy, too! – she maintains the right to fool around with her female friends but I’d better not even think about doing the same thing.
I found that if you’re not prepare to have a frank and in-depth conversation about sex and sexuality, well, you might have a problem; if you’re with someone who can’t have a frank and in-depth conversation about sex and sexuality – and can’t listen to one – you’ve got a bigger problem. Trying to get them to accept (a) that you’re bisexual and (b) no, I’m not going to start cheating on you and maybe even (c) no, I’ve never cheated on you could be… daunting to say the least. In some cases, I’ve found myself deemed guilty of a multitude of sins that, in fact, I never even thought about committing but it seems that you can be found guilty because if you did it before, you’re not only gonna do it again but you’re doing it now. It’s bad enough having to explain that you’re bisexual but you’d probably find yourself having to explain – and in exacting detail – your sexual desires for her, their intensity, what you love about having sex with her, etc., and while you might think this is a good thing, um, no – it always isn’t because you might be required to explain – and in the same exacting detail – what it is you don’t like about having sex with her… and this is some very dangerous ground to be walking upon.
I’ve been asked, “So, you like sex with dudes more than sex with me?” God, I hate this question with a passion! How do you explain and answer this without (a) telling a few little white lies and (b) not getting them upset with the whole truth in this? I’ve been asked, “Do you like the way a man sucks your dick more than the way I do it?” and, again, this is some dangerous and shaky ground. I’ve found that even when I’ve told the whole truth about this, eh, it’s not well-accepted even when you try to be PC about it and say something like, “I’ve had good and bad blow jobs from both men and women…” because while it might answer their question, it’s not a good enough answer. When I’ve explained, “It’s not that I prefer the way men do it over women – it’s really more about the fact of me doing the sucking and the pleasure I get from it – and, yeah, that’s despite that I probably know exactly what I might not like about the way they blow me and I’m gonna go out of my way to avoid getting into this. So even when I’ve explained that it’s not about being done – it’s about doing – this simplified version of the truth goes unaccepted.
There are a lot of people who believe that not disclosing one’s sexuality in full is an act of deception… and maybe it is… but with a damned good reason because any conversation you’re gonna have about this isn’t really going to be about you – it’s gonna be about them and any impact on their sensibilities and, no, you’re not going to easily calm their fears about any of this. I’ve been asked, “Do you have any fucking idea how this makes me feel?” Well, yeah, I do… which is exactly why I tried to avoid answering the question in the first place but you insisted and maybe even threatened me to get the truth, making me wonder why some people demand the absolute truth when it proves out that they were better off not knowing and more so when they are unable to accept that I’ve always been bisexual and, no, I can’t just “stop” being bisexual because it offends you. Yes, I can not indulge myself in this… but I can’t stop being something I’ve always been any more than I can stop breathing. It usually reveals yet another double standard: Women expect and demand that they be accepted wholly, you know, both the good and bad… but when it comes to this, eh, sometimes, they’re now kinda/sorta unwilling to accept you the same way and all because your sexuality offends them. No, it’s not all that hard to figure out why they’d be offended and, yes, when the bisexual in the relationship is a woman, not all men are understanding about their desires for the touch of another woman because they firmly believe that they are the only source for her sexual pleasure and, yep, while these are the rules, it’s also a great deal of conceit – think about that one for a moment while I get another cup of coffee.
I would rather calculate pi to the last digit than to have this conversation and more so when I’m sure, before the fact, that they’re not likely to understand this thing about me or look at it as the positive it can be – having commonality with each other. I’ve learned that almost everyone has heard all of the stereotypes and that they will almost always apply them to me and, as such, I will always be guilty of all of that shit even when it never crossed my mind to do anything I might have been thinking of because, yeah, I know the rules and probably better than most people. And, yeah, you bet your ass, if I admit to thinking about cock, it’s going to be assumed that I am going to run out and get some… but in a situation where that wouldn’t be a smart thing to do.
It’s bad to have a relationship go down the tubes because of this lack of understanding; you learn that dealing with someone else’s ideas on sex and sexuality is a damned difficult thing to do because, in their eyes, you are about as wrong as it gets – and even if you’re bisexual and have never, ever had any of the sex that’s possible. Women have gotten greatly offended and, yes, men have gotten greatly offended to find out their woman likes pussy; the fact that the commitment to the present relationship wasn’t avoided or violated means very little because, as I found – and to my dismay – my bisexuality isn’t a “problem” that I have – nope, somehow, my being bisexual has everything to do with them. It’s one of those weird situations where I understand why they ‘d feel this way… but this time I don’t understand it. Even when I’ve been the one making the discovery that I’m involved with a bisexual woman, sure, I get it – how could I not get it – but I’ve seen the fear of rejection coming from them and even when I’ve said that I’m quite okay with it, eh, they don’t really believe me and that’s probably because somewhere in their past, someone really fucked them over because they were bisexual and if one person did it, then everyone is going to do it – and that’s just the way we behave at times.
One might not ever “plan” on coming out to a partner but sometimes a partner’s intuition will let them know that there’s something about you that ain’t quite “right” and said intuition will eventually lead them to a certain chain of thoughts that just might get them to ask you a question that you might not be expecting. Yeah, I know – some guys will lie like rugs about this and that’s such a bad move… but telling the truth can equally be a bad move. You find, just as I did, that you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. When someone has asked me what’s the best way to explain this to a partner, shit, there’s really no best way to do this and more so if you’re with someone who has previously reveals some “prejudice” against homosexuality as a whole. You’re trying to justify your actions and/or beliefs and in the face of someone else’s sensibilities and why you could clearly and completely explain your sexuality, I just wouldn’t count on the other person accepting or understanding it. I’m not saying that they won’t or can’t, mind you, but one must be, at the very least, aware that your explanation might not go over very well and that your hopes and dreams for a long-lasting relationship with them might be shattered and then swept away.
I’ve dropped back and punted on this one and have said that this is a judgement call and one has to decide whether or not the person they’re dealing with can handle the truth. In this, I’ve been made a believer in something my late paternal grandfather once told me, “If you don’t really wanna know, don’t ask!” Lying about it ain’t gonna help, nor will telling the truth help at times; you really have to be inside the head of our partner in order to get a feel for whether or not they can deal with this – and with the thought in mind that you could be wrong about whether they can or not.
In this, you hope for the best… but expect the worse. In my own experiences and what I’ve learned from other male bisexuals, the worst tends to happen more often than not. It’s a tough choice: Do you tell them the truth (and from the beginning if possible) and run the risk of utterly destroying your relationship (or a potential relationship)… or do you remain silent or do your best to deflect any questions on this topic – and with the knowledge that if you do keep silent, you could be seen as being of lying by omission? And then, given the stereotypes about bisexuals that exist, you could very well be guilty by association, being punished for the misdeeds of other bisexuals even if you’ve never, ever, done any of the shit the stereotypes highlight.
Now, what “advice” can I give for someone who’s found they’re dealing with a bisexual?
- Be as open-minded and as objective as you can; to get your head around this, you have to be able to set aside any thoughts or feelings that are prejudicial or biased; to immediately take offense is not going to go well for either of you.
- Don’t assume or accuse them of doing something that you cannot prove that they did. It’s easy to think that because homey has sucked dick or been fucked (or whatever) or that girlfriend’s been muff-diving from the beginning and that they’re still doing it despite being in a relationship with you – what you suspect is one thing but, really, what you can prove is something else. Keep in mind that, sometimes, if you accuse someone of doing something, um, they just might go ahead and do it out of spite – very bad juju in this.
- Try to understand that their sexuality really doesn’t have a damned thing to do with you… unless, of course, it’s determined that you did do or say something to push them into bisexuality – and, yeah, that has happened. The moment you get into a “What about me?” frame of mind, um, you’re fucked.
- Try to keep in mind that if they wanted to be in a same-sex relationship, they wouldn’t be with you!
- Um, they’re really not gay if they’ve been having a fun time having sex with you.
- Don’t ask questions that you really don’t want to know the answer to, like, asking them to compare sex with you against any same-sex stuff they may have done. They’re either going to lie to you or you might become aware of any sexual shortcomings they’ve noticed about you and that’s going to be very painful for you either way.
- Keep in mind that just because you might think bisexuality is wrong, they don’t think it is; if you have the right to feel/think the way you do, they have that same right.
- Don’t ask or otherwise demand that they not be bisexual. You can ask them to not do anything about it but by making such demands, you’re asking them not to feel the way they do and that’s just impossible to do. Likewise, be able to understand that thinking and doing are not the same things!
- Don’t assume that their sexuality is a prelude to a threesome… unless the idea of one turns you on.
- Don’t start telling them that they’re going through a phase or otherwise try to debunk their sexuality – you’re trying to tell them that they are not the kind of person they believe themselves to be and if you cannot see the fallacy in this, well, shame on you – go back and read #7.
- Don’t assume that their feelings/thoughts about bisexuality makes them a bad and/or deviant person; if they are a bad person, it’s a good bet that their sexuality isn’t at the root of their alleged badness.
- If you feel that leaving them because of their sexuality is in your best interests, take a moment and think about what such a decision says about you; which is more important – their love for you or their sexuality? Is it really worth destroying a good, working relationship because you don’t like the fact that they’re bisexual?
- Don’t pull out the disease card on them just because you’ve heard some shit about this – and especially if they tell you that they’ve never had the sex to begin with. If you have deep suspicions – and your bisexual has their head screwed on right – a trip to the doctor and a lab test will definitively answer any questions about this – and don’t forget that they can easily catch something nasty via sex with you (and don’t think they can’t).
- Remember this: Just because they can (or want to) do a thing doesn’t mean they have to… or that they’re going to… and chances are good that they’re not going to want to because they’re with you… unless, of course, you’re kinkier than they are perceived to be.
I could probably think of a lot of other tidbits regarding this but I’m guessing you’re getting the general idea. In a perfect world, being bisexual and in a relationship wouldn’t be a problem because the commitments required by being in a relationship – and the love you feel for each other – would be given more importance than ruffled sensibilities. However, we don’t live in a perfect world, do we? There are people out there who can accept that people can be bisexual but they have this “not in my backyard” thing going on; it’s okay for someone else to be bisexual but it’s not okay for the person they’re in a relationship with (or the person they’re hoping to be in a relationship with) to be bisexual.
And, finally, if this very negative reaction doesn’t make a lot of sense, well, maybe it’ll give you a clue of how to deal with this situation in a positive way…