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.