Why bisexuals stay in the closet

Only 28% of bisexuals have come out because of stereotypes in the straight and gay communities that they're sex-crazed or incapable of monogamy, a new study shows.

  • Faith Cheltenham's 1-year-old son Storm waves a flag honoring bisexuals before heading to a Fourth of July gathering with her husband, Matt Kanninen. Faith is a bisexual activist and is vocal about the "B" being ignored in the LGBT community.
Faith Cheltenham's 1-year-old son Storm waves a flag honoring bisexuals… (Barbara Davidson, Los Angeles…)
In the middle of the rainbowy revelers at the pride parade in West Hollywood, Jeremy Stacy was questioned: Are you really bisexual?
"One guy came up to me and said, 'You're really gay,' " said Stacy, who was standing under a sign reading "Ask a Bisexual." "I told him I had a long line of ex-girlfriends who would vehemently disagree. And he said, 'That doesn't matter, because I know you're gay. "
Stacy had gotten the question before. From a friend who said anyone who had slept with men must be gay — even if he had also slept with women. From women who assumed he would cheat on them. From a boyfriend who insisted Stacy was really "bi now, gay later" — and dumped him when he countered he was "bi now, bi always."
GRAPHIC: Gay marriage across the U.S.
Such attitudes appear to have kept many bisexuals in the closet. At a time when gay rights have made stunning strides, and gays and lesbians have become far more willing to come out, the vast majority of bisexuals remains closeted, a Pew Research Center survey revealed last month.
Only 28% of bisexuals said most or all of the important people in their lives knew about their sexual orientation, compared to 71% of lesbians and 77% of gay men, Pew found. The numbers were especially small among bisexual men: Only 12% said they were out to that degree, compared to one-third of bisexual women who said the same.
Closeted bisexuals told the Los Angeles Times that they had avoided coming out because they didn't want to deal with misconceptions that bisexuals were indecisive or incapable of monogamy — stereotypes that exist among straights, gays and lesbians alike.
Elizabeth, who declined to give her last name, said that when some new friends chatted about women kissing women, she just kept quiet. "I wouldn't come out to them because they would say things" — that she was "sex-crazed" or was making it up.
John, a married man who realized that he was bisexual three years ago and has told his wife, said he worries about bringing her shame if he comes out more publicly. He suspects she would hear, "Surely you must have seen the signs," and, "How do you put up with that?"
His wife has told him he must suppress his feelings. "She believes sexuality is a choice and that I can and should just 'turn it off,' " he said.
The stereotypes make some reluctant to use the word, even after they come out. Laura McGinnis, communications director for the Trevor Project, an LGBT youth suicide prevention group, said she was 29 or 30 before she would readily share that she was bisexual or actively correct someone who thought otherwise.
"I hated the label because the assumption is that you're sleeping around," said McGinnis, now raising a child with her wife.
Such assumptions could make being out at work especially difficult: Only 11% of bisexual people polled by Pew said most of their closest coworkers knew about their sexual orientation, compared to 48% of gay men and 50% of lesbians.

Bisexuals were also less likely than gay men and lesbians to say their workplaces were accepting of them, Pew found. In a separate study published in the Journal of Bisexuality, half of bisexual people surveyed said their gay and straight coworkers misunderstood bisexuality.
"Bisexuals are thought to be confused, opportunistic and unable to make commitments — and those aren't the kinds of things you want to see in an employee," said Denise Penn, vice president of the American Institute of Bisexuality, a nonprofit that funds research.
Inside the gay community, bisexual people are often seen as more privileged than gays and lesbians, able to duck discrimination by entering into straight relationships.
Far more bisexuals are in relationships with people of the opposite sex than the same sex, Pew found. They are less likely than gay men and lesbians to have weathered slurs or attacks, been rejected by friends or family or treated unfairly at work, its survey showed.
Yet researchers and activists say bisexuals face another set of frustrations, sometimes shunned by the gay and lesbian community and the straight world alike.
Bisexual women complain they are leered at by straight men and rejected by some lesbians as sexual "tourists" who will abandon them for men. Bisexual men, in turn, struggle to persuade men and women alike that they aren't just gay men with one foot in the closet. Both are stereotyped as oversexed swingers who cannot be trusted.
"Women would say, 'I don't date your kind,' " said Mimi Hoang, who helped form bisexual groups in Los Angeles. Such reactions left her frustrated. "I had nothing against lesbians. I thought I could find camaraderie with people who were also sexual minorities."

What's With All These Kinky, Pagan Bisexuals?

A number of years ago I was sitting in a lounge space of a Wiccan church¹s main congregation and I suddenly realized that all the women around me identified as bisexual. I turned to one of the gals there and asked, "Are there any women you know of here who aren't bi?" The witchlet I was talking to looked around the room, mumbled to herself, consulted with a friend and replied saying that she could only think of one completely straight woman in the group. She added that there are some bi men, but mostly they're straight. I thought that was quite interesting and filed it away for later.

I've been a member and leader of a number of kinky groups over the past 18 years. I've observed that amongst kinky folks, the vast majority of women are at least open to playing with other women and many are bi-identified. While some of them only play or have sex with women because it's what their (mostly male) dominants want, few of them really object to it. Some of them have threesomes that include their male partners on a regular basis. Many of them play with other women regularly. Sometimes these men play with other men, though seeing sexual activity between men amongst the 'pansexual' kink community is fairly rare.

It's often been pointed out to me, as a person known for championing bi visibility, that the women in the kink community really don't seem to need bi community, since they have each other. Not having a bi-only community means not having to hide being kinky, since bi community is open to kink but it's not necessarily a given that the people there are understanding of kinky folks.

But it's not just about pagans and kinky people. There are many outcast groups that have a higher number of bisexual people than the Ĺ’regular¹ population. There is a strong prevalence of bisexuals (especially women) amongst role playing gamers, Goths, sci-fi fanatics, members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), community theatre folks, people very much into body modification and tattooing, and a huge number of other outcast groups too numerous to single out.

As for polyamorous folks, it should be unsurprising that most of them are bisexual, even if they choose not to use the label for a variety of reasons. Polyamory is about fluidity in relationships and sexuality, and that includes fluidity regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

So why is bisexuality so common for people in these 'outcast' groups? Why do they find each other so easily and therefore lack a need for a community built specifically around bisexuality and its challenges?

When I was asked this question a number of years ago I felt that the answer lay in the idea of open-mindedness. If you've already become a member of one 'outcast' group such as goths, pagans, kinky people, etc., then it becomes easy to be accepting of other aspects of life that are socially unaccepted, such as same-sex relationships. But I felt that may not be the whole answer.

I took the question to a workshop at the 8th International Conference on Bisexuality, Gender and Sexual Diversity (8ICB) in Minneapolis in 2004, and asked the participants what they thought. I first asked them to come up with other groups they felt had a large population of bisexual people. Then we drew out the similarities in each of those groups. Finally, we talked about what drew bisexual people to them. The result was very interesting, but rather than consider that the final answer, I did the same workshop two more times, in 2005 and 2006. Each time there were some similarities in the answers, but the result went further.

At 9ICB in Toronto in 2006, I conducted this workshop with some of the ideas of the previous workshops already in my head wanting to delve further in to the heart of the matter. I think we finally hit the nail on the head there.

All of the outcast groups that we identified as having a fairly high population of bisexuals were noted for having challenged the norms of belief systems, relationship structures, values and ethics. These are the people who've thrown off the societally-imposed ideas of having a nuclear genetic family unit. They've rejected the judgements of their elders, which they view as unnecessarily restrictive in favour of the judgement of their peers, which is often more accepting. They have chosen to build their family amongst the people in the various outcast communities because their friends understand why they have rejected the standard values and ethics.

Specifically, people in these outcast groups have often challenged‹and then rejected‹the monotheistic ideal of North American judeo-christian notions of right and wrong. Most of them have also rejected ³traditional² religion. One of the strongest moralistic messages they reject is that of sex as sin. Once you can embrace it as a joyous, unshameful thing, sexuality can be viewed as more fluid and less restrictive. From there it's easy to consider homophobic rhetoric as a method of religious control for the purpose of furthering religion through the doctrine of procreation. Acceptance of or experimentation with same-sex attractions or sexual activity is a natural next step. Rather than rejecting homosexual behaviour, one can embrace it when the question of sex as sin is no longer an issue. It's no longer immoral, but natural.

There's more than just giving up on the idea of sex as sin and therefore homosexuality as sinful to there being so many bisexuals amongst these outcast groups. There's also the idea of shrugging off societal values of family and relationship structures in general. From there, it becomes easy to see heteronormative family structures as a construction of religion, which led to the construction of the family unit as sacred. Without the sacred family unit, you can accept any person or group as family by choice.

Suddenly we¹re no longer restricted to male-female relationships for the purpose of procreation and passing on the religious and societal ideals. We can choose whatever relationship structures we wish, unrestricted by whether or not they produce children and who raises them. It no longer matters how many mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and whether or not they're genetically related. It's all family because we choose it to be so and we reinforce that by declaring this to whomsoever comes into contact with these intentional families.

Even where there are no children, families can come to mean "my community" or "my friends" or even, "my partners and their partners". This need not be restricted by gender, and thus, bisexuality is a natural outcome of having challenged and rejected the idea of the 'normal' family unit.

But why is it that there are so many more women who seem drawn to bisexuality than men in these outcast groups? Why is it not as common to see men going at it right next to the women? Why is it that many of these groups espouse openness to homosexuality but seem to be only accepting of it amongst women?

Even if you reject the ideas of heteronormative behaviour, there are some aspects of socialization that are very difficult to overcome. Despite the idea of male homosexuality being accepted in principle, men are so deeply socialized to reject expressions of affection amongst themselves that they have a hard time accepting it as natural. They've had it drilled into them from a very young age that men don't touch each other, shouldn't see each other touching and shouldn't want to be in physical contact except in expressions of mock combat (sports and organized competition) or true combat (struggles for dominance). The idea of being in physical contact for some other reason that isn't based on strength or posturing has been socialized as abhorrent, and rejecting that deeply ingrained socialization is as difficult as rejecting the idea that one shouldn't pass gas in front of the Queen of England. It's just simply 'not done'.

Women have it easy because we're socialized to be open to touching each other, dancing together, kissing and flirting. Add the male-dominated pornographic sexualization of women having sex together for men's entertainment and it stands to reason that women engaging in homosexual acts‹that sometimes do and sometimes don't include men‹is considered perfectly acceptable. We see it everywhere in our society.

So if that's the case, why is it that bisexual folks are able to be so comfortably 'out' as bisexual and engaged in multi-gendered relationships in these outcast groups and not in the general population? It's a simple matter of 'me too'.

In the general population it's not safe to express same-sex attraction because the expectation is that we conform to the societal norms of straight and valuing the ideal of the genetic nuclear family. Being in an outcast group means having already rejected those ideals as incompatible with one's value system. It makes it easier to behave in ways that challenge the existing structures. Once one person successfully challenges the heteronormative assumptions, it becomes very easy for others to follow, agreeing with the newly espoused of values around sexuality and relationships and accepting these as normal.

So.... back to the question. What's with all these kinky, pagan (and other outcast groups) bisexuals? Quite simply, it's because we've already chosen that this reality is normal... for us.

Bisexual advice: To Come Out or Not to Come Out as Bisexual?

Over the last few decades, the notion of same-sex attraction has increased in terms of mainstream acceptance, legal rights and Recognized in some parts of the world. A growing prominence and Visibility in mainstream culture is a strong indication that being queer is no longer verboten. The rite of revealing oneself to be gay or lesbian is a virtually universally recognized concept; it would be hard to find many people unaware of what is understood by the euphemistic, innocent-seeming expression “coming out.” However, bisexuals are not as readily recognized as needing this important step.

Coming out is an emotionally trying and sometimes dangerous path towards self-actualization. The decision (and the factors one must consider before it), have been documented and described in ways as vastly different as individuals themselves—even those who’ve never faced such a struggle can identify.

These chronicled stories make a significant case for the importance of coming out; for the well-being and strength of both the individual and the queer community as a whole. The greater the ratio of people openly identifying as having same-sex orientation, the more difficult it becomes for homophobes and moral objectivists to argue that same-sex attraction and sexual behaviour is abnormal or deviant.

While there are scores of movies on the subject, and pretty much every young-adult TV series features the obligatory gay kid and their coming-out saga, there are nowhere near as many depictions of bisexual characters, leaving those of us out here in the real world little to identify with. Revelations of this identity are even more scarce, when they are shown they’re played for laughs (There’s Something About Mary, Dodgeball), an excuse to show girls making out (See: previous) or, the revelation is, by the character, deliberately intended to spark controversy within the narrative, as opposed to an unfortunate consequence (Velvet Goldmine, which, however, in other ways provides a unique and fun display of bi pride)

Another way mainstream entertainment has skirted the issue is to show characters engaging in bisexual behaviour—from kissing (that infamous scene in Cruel Intentions), to “what the hell, I’ll try it” one-night-stands, to relationships with both genders, (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) without the character ever addressing the concept of bisexuality. (Was anyone else confused when Willow started dating Tara and suddenly was gay, never mind the years she spent head-over-heels for both Xander and Oz?)

There are few, if any, pop culture representations depicting realistic personalities, be they fiction or not, as they struggle with the need to reveal their bisexuality, no realistic reflections of the diverse issues and reactions one might be confronted with. The reasons to come out are left unclear for the bisexual individual.

So the question is not just whether to come out or not, but also why? What issues are relevant? Who needs to know? Who should know, and when does it become necessary?

Something to remember is that “coming out” is not one singular event, it isn’t a binary “you-are-or-you-aren’t.”. As for those coming out as homosexual, people growing to understand their bisexual identity are never completely “in” or “out” of the closet; coming out is in an ongoing process that never really ends. We are constantly meeting new people and finding ourselves in new situations, and even if you never hide a thing, make it a point to tell everyone from family and friends to disinterested cashiers or your parish minister, and write “I’m Bisexual” on a nametag, one’s sexuality is never implicit; you’re still coming out over and over again as you shift from “undefined” todefined”.

By that definition, the same logic does apply, to a certain extent, to the straight-identified person as well—nobody “knows” officially if someone is straight until they reveal themselves to be so, but because heterosexuality is seen as the default or “normal” setting to which bi/homosexuality is the “other”, it’s much more likely that one will be “presumed straight until proven otherwise”

This notion is one that is particularly problematic and is quite relevant to the issue of coming out, as it rears its ugly head over and over again the more you explore different societal and communal attitudes and beliefs. By presenting it as a deviation from the norm, as opposed to one of many possible-yet-common options, the subtle yet dangerous precedent is laid out, for the equation of same-sex attraction with the “undesirable other” always present in the dichotomies people find familiar and comfortable: innocent/guilty, normal/abnormal, right/wrong.

It is here that bisexuality has an opportunity to break the dichotomy. While many still lump bisexuals into the “other” category with homosexuals, growing bisexual presence is also slowly introducing shades of grey, thus blurring the boundaries.

In light of this, one issue considered crucial by many, is that by staying silent, you are helping to reinforce the very hierarchy that makes the decision so difficult. Many believe that hiding one’s sexuality is tantamount to agreeing with those who find it something to be ashamed of. Instead, making one’s voice heard, even to the smallest personal degree, will present a dissenting view of those preconceived notions.

The survival and continued progress of establishing visibility and acceptance of the bisexual community, still widely considered socially and morally questionable, is impossible without having the numbers to back it up. However, we cannot accomplish these goals by forfeiting the happiness and quality of life of individuals..

Sacrificing too much personal fulfillment in the name of public good leads to resentment toward your own community if your personal life suffers. When coming out can negatively affect your life, it doesn’t matter how many people are out; if ruined lives are what the public sees of bisexuality, they’ll determine bisexuality is to blame (and likely not their own judgmental attitudes towards it)

In addition to sharing most of the prejudice and bigotry aimed at same-sex attraction, the process of making bisexuality public comes with its own set of new challenges, prejudices and misconceptions. While straight moralizers tend to lump bisexuals along with gays in their denouncement, support from the gay/queer community is often surprisingly lacking, despite the mutual concerns. It’s often seen as a negligible issue compared to their struggle, particularly when many bisexuals have the luxury of “passing” as straight due to appearance or having a partner of the opposite sex.

Everyone has their own unique collection of consequences, pros and cons to weigh, in addition to those more universal attitudes towards bisexuality, when considering coming out. For some, the safety of ambiguity on the matter means they won’t be kicked out of their home unexpectedly without the resources to make it as an adult independently, others choose silence to protect their right to see their children from a homophobic spouse or ex who would gladly paint them as a deviant. For many, however, challenging the prejudices of a parent, ex, or co-worker by coming out as bisexual—and not fitting the negative stereotypes—can be a healing experience after years of collected shame.

Even keeping quiet except for an anonymous account on an internet community space can be a significant and meaningful step forwards into self-acceptance and sharing advice.

Most bi-identified people inevitably choose a level of openness somewhere between the two extremes; bisexuality can fall into a grey area of self-identification. While some people find it a big part of who they are, and a crucial detail in understanding their life, there are those who may experience bisexual feelings but because they’re in a long-term (hetero- or homosexual) relationship, don’t ever see themselves acting on it. For those, it may feel a rather inconsequential part of their self-definition, and may see the subject being blown out of proportion, creating insecurity or trust issues that needn’t be there. However, in these cases it is well worth considering whether your relationship can indeed be healthy if you’re unable to reveal the whole truth about yourself, or to ask yourself if you’re comfortable being with a partner who has firm prejudices about something they don’t know you to be.
A need-to-know basis might work for some, and could be the best solution for all involved. Others might only feel held back by secrecy, and unloading/sharing the information with trusted (and later more casual) friends can be a therapeutic exercise as well with the unburdening of secrets. I personally advocate complete honesty from the beginning, within the context of any sexual or romantic relationship, but others do prefer not to know all the details of issues they may wish to turn a blind eye to, and that too is a highly individual choice to make.

By breaking down stereotypes and gaining recognition, gay and lesbian couples have demonstrated their capacity and desire for the “normal” lifehaving regular jobs, raising children, driving to soccer practiceIn short, a facsimile of the traditional “nuclear” family. As many follow the model expected of hetero couples as closely as possible for a pair whose only deviancy from said model is that their genitals match, we have seen more and more acceptance of the gay lifestyle, and the perceived threat of dangerous and perverse queers is slowly being worn away, However, as the mimicking of hetero behaviour patterns allows the mainstream straight presence to see gays as “just like them”, this can seem in some ways to make the struggle for bi acceptance even more difficult.

As in many other areas, the bisexual relationship is forced to question or challenge the social script that exists about acceptable/unacceptable relationship practices. Specifically, there is the polite fiction practiced by many couples; that potential attraction to a person who is not your spouse/significant other just doesn’t happen, and if it does then that is a sign of trouble in the relationship.

While this is a broad generalization, we can see examples of how this constructed understanding is reinforced and performed; whether it is not allowing a partner to visit a strip club or partake in porn, judgmental attitudes towards your lover’s past, or even being upset if the partner’s eyes glance too long at a random attractive body, these reactions aren’t challenged, and are in many ways seen as inherently justifiedeven in your fantasies you should be faithful, it implies.

However, revealing one’s bisexuality, particularly within an existing relationship does not allow for this fiction to flourish or in fact exist at all. Even at its most simple interpretation, bisexual identity is an acknowledgement and admission to (at least!) two potential sources of desire, capable of existing simultaneously within a single individual. While these factors may make the process seem daunting and barely worth the hassle, keep in mind those reasons that make you WANT to come outthink of all the fun you’re opening the doors to! In addition to gaining a sense of community, there’s the possibility of exploring new lovers, new relationships, new ways to experiment, and most importantly, yourself.

Ultimately, the decision whether or not to come out and to what degree is intensely personal, and the variables that affect this decision cannot possibly be summed up across the board with any one sentence or a simple proclamation of DO IT or DON’T. I encourage you to listen to other people’s stories, issues, concerns, experiences and triumphs, considering which factors may be relevant to your own situation.

For Better or for Worse, in Straightness and in....Otherwise…When One of You is Bi

For a bisexual person to enter a relationship with a straight person, however, neither pretending nor disclosure is necessary, leaving the question unasked and therefore unanswered. Whether or not you choose to disclose your bisexuality openly is a very personal matter, and cannot fairly be subject to the judgment of those who aren’t aware of your specific circumstances. However, when it comes to the subject of disclosure to someone with whom you’ve entered (or hope to build) a serious relationship, being upfront about your bisexuality is crucial, for the short- and long-term benefit of both of you.

(Hear that? That’s the sound of all those alarm bells going off, joyfully ringing out “THREESOMES!” in the minds of many readers out there Keep those pants on (for just a sec longer, though—sex should be about fun and fantasies) —here’s how to walk so you can run to your heart’s content later on…you’ll trip if you start with your pants down to your ankles)

It can be a difficult and confusing road for both partners in a relationship where one has taken the big step and revealed their bisexual inclinations to the other. Working together and communicating openly is crucial at every stage of this process, and don’t rush ahead until both sides know they’ve been heard. If one of you is struggling or reluctant, this will hopefully provide a framework for navigating the subject in the most helpful way.

Step 1: Congratulations, You’re Out!

Yes, feel free to celebrate even at this early moment of overwhelming and conflicting emotions. Regardless of whether you proudly came clean to a new partner as you began to get serious, or if you were disastrously yanked out of the closet when your spouse of 20 years caught you masturbating to gay porn, you’ve taken a big step out in the open, and can breathe a little more easily now that the hiding is over.

Whether you’ve just come out to your lover, or your lover’s just come out to you, there are going to be a lot of questions and a need for discussion. When you make the time to sit down and make this happen—which is essential—these are crucial issues to discuss.

While there has likely been a long process of soul-searching and self-examination to get to the place of understanding you’re at, self-deception can be a powerful thing, and there are many out there whose internalized homophobia is so strong (or even those who just haven’t felt any interest stirring within them whatsovever) that they live in complete denial and obliviousness to their own same-sex attractions.

You owe it to your partner and to yourself to be 100% sure that you are attracted to their gender as well, before going any further. If you do come to the realization that you’re completely gay, it won’t do you or your partner any good to prolong the relationship any further.

One of your partner’s biggest concerns is going to be the reassurance that you’re still very much attracted to them, and you need to, with great care, let them know you’re just happen to be aroused by same-sex fantasies as well.

Another thing you will have to face, regardless of what your intentions or needs regarding acting upon your bisexual urges might be, is the fact that this may be a difficult or even impossible thing for your partner to accept. If you know they’ve had strong homo/biphobic views long before your own sexuality is divulged, it may be an impossible road. Some people are able to change their long-held prejudiced beliefs when they learn someone they know and love admits to being “one of them”, but too often the result is to spontaneously forget years of history and trust in that person

Sharing personal and individual experiences about how you came to this realization (and acceptance of it, etc) is a really good way of helping your partner with their own acceptance. Having a sense of the emotions, fears and challenges is what will most help your partner. The human experience is something a lot easier for us to empathize and identify with, than is a broad, faceless concept like "Bisexuality" (which is already so misunderstood to begin with). Also, sharing stories that take place in a context familiar to them, is a constant reminder to your partner of the real you, not the stranger they may fear you now are.

This can also be an opportunity to open up a dialogue where your partner can feel safe revealing any sexual fantasies they might have been too shy to discuss with you beforehand. Needless to say, you should approach this with the same open-mindedness, patience and understanding you hope they can demonstrate to you—in fact, it’s a great chance for you to set the example.

Step 2: Now What?

You now need to ask yourself, especially if you came out to your partner voluntarily, what your motivations were for doing so. Was it just to share something personal with them in order to build closeness? Was it to explain that you sometimes look at same-sex porn, so that you won’t have to be secretive about it around them? Or maybe you’ve realized that you haven’t done all the experimentation you’d like to do before settling down, maybe you’re not sure if settling down is your eventual plan at all.

You need to really understand your own needs, because you then need to communicate all these things to your partner Successful relationships require an understanding of the other’s expectations, and as in all unions, they have the right to know what they’re getting into. It isn’t fair to lead them on, or to let them go on planning your future together if you have any doubts that you’ll want that same conclusion.

Don’t approach this discussion as though you’re writing a contract—this is a process of learning and understanding, and it’s important for both of you to keep that in mind at all times. What it is, however, (or should be, at least) is an honest disclosure of the situation as far as you can know yourself, and an assessment of how likely you think things are to change, or how certain you are that they won’t. Desires and needs can develop and change over time, and so can your partner’s comfort level in accepting or accommodating them. If and when the status quo requires change, you will both need to reopen discussions.

Step 3: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Pornography

The reality is that our recurring sexual urges are not going to just go away when they’re inconvenient, and the best way of keeping them under out control is to have an outlet for them. When acting on bisexual urges isn’t a desirable or possible option (and there are countless reasons for this—you’re in a happily committed relationship but your fantasies occasionally involve members of the same sex; the object of your desire is a celebrity you’ll never meet; your partner is fast asleep and you don’t want to wake them; you’ve concocted an elaborate scenario that takes place 500 years in the future) many people find an easy outlet in some form of erotica or pornography, and it is strongly recommended that both partners make the decision to be comfortable with the presence of porn in their own or their partner’s sex lives.

Many people have issues with porn, and if you’re already dealing with bi disclosure, you might overload. However, porn and erotica can be a simple and private means. Jealousy can certainly happen, but many people do like porn, even when they have a wonderful sexual mate, and it isn’t something to be taken personally or to feel insecure about.

This is an especially important area for those dating a bisexual. If you can get to the point of not being threatened at all by the fact that your partner sometimes fantasizes about random people who aren’t you, it’s a lot easier to accept that their attraction to people of the same gender can remain part of their anything-goes fantasy world, instead of needing to be played out in the more complicated reality. And besides, sometimes all the other-gender-experimentation that many bisexuals crave is to have a good free-for-all-fantasy wank, comfortably free of shame or secrecy.

Step 4: Talk Pervy to Me: Bringing Bisexuality, Bisexuals and Beyond to your Bedroom

Still with us? Great! Should you wish to continue to experiment and explore your bisexuality, there are a number of options. Should you find your partner eager and willing to experiment with you, inviting some gender role-play or other fantasy scenarios into your routine can be an exciting adventure for both of you. Haven’t visited a sex toy store lately? Now would be a good time to take a trip together, you’ll discover a number of toys to help bring these fantasies to life and they’re coming up with all sorts of new surprises every day.

If your bisexual desires still urge you to experiment with another lover, threesomes (or more-somes) and polyamory are solutions that many bisexuals find work for them; there are other articles on this site about these topics should you wish to learn more.

Learning about your needs, how to fulfill them and take care of your partner is a process that requires a lot of time, sharing and understanding. Making changes to both of your lives is going to take time and is going to be a hard road to travel. But hopefully both of you can keep in mind why you’re together in the first case, and from there understanding, acceptance and maybe a whole new dash of fun can be added to your relationship.