Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bi-curious Boyfriend?

Wondering if you can help. I consider myself to be a fairly open minded woman but have recently come to the realization that maybe I'm not. My problem is that I have been dating a great guy for the last six months. We have a great sex life and have no sexual issues. The other day my boyfriend left his email logged on and I started looking thru it. Yeah, yeah I know I shouldn't have invaded his privacy but I've got a few trust issues I'm working on. I found several emails that were from 3 years ago between him and another man and from a swinger couple. Of course I haven't confronted him with this and I probably won't but I'm wondering is it possible for a man to not be gay but have fantasies? Is there such a thing as someone who is curious, acted upon it and then not continued? I think he just had a few encounters. I'm just trying to decide if he could ever truly be satisfied with just me. I'm really not upset because we all have our secret fantasies. I've had fantasies of being with women just never acted upon it, I believe it is something we all secretly do. I could go on and on but I'm sure you know where I'm going with this. Thanks for you help. V

I wouldn't necessarily say that a heterosexual person could never indulge in homoerotic fantasies -- at least in a kind of "I wonder what it's like" sort of way -- but you seem to think that your boyfriend has gone way beyond that, which is a different story. I assume you base this on the emails he had with this man. A man whose had "a few encounters" with other men is not heterosexual.

Homosexuality isn't a phase or something you can switch on or off. Some men indulge in homosexual behavior and then stop not because they have lost these primal urges -- an attraction to other men -- but because they are giving in to feelings of shame or guilt; what we call "internalized homophobia." They want to lead a straight life without actually being straight. Some men like this repress their natural instincts -- which is not wise or healthy -- and others go on the "down low" for their homosexual encounters, hoping they will be discreet enough for the wife or girlfriend never to find out.

Bisexual advocates insist that some men are genuinely bisexual -- and your boyfriend would at the very least have to be put in this category -- but even then it's a question of which is his preference -- men or women? -- and if he's being entirely honest with himself about which it is. Some gay men go through a bisexual phase until they come to the honest conclusion that they are gay. If this happens early on it's one thing. If it happens after twenty years of marriage -- and this is not as uncommon as you might think -- that's another story.

I think women with bi, possibly gay, boyfriends have to get past this notion that their discomfort makes them narrow-minded or homophobic. It's a legitimate topic of concern. Who would want to marry a man who later comes out of the closet and needs to be with another man? What woman would want the man she loves to live a life of denial and dishonesty? Some women are just not comfortable with the fact that their boyfriends, gay or bi, are attracted to other men, just as most gay men are not comfortable with boyfriends who are [or at least say they are] attracted to women. [This is not misogyny or bigotry. It's just a turn off.]

While I would not suggest that you tell your boyfriend you were looking through his emails, you might on some occasion bring up the subject of swinging, bisexuality, etc when an opportunity arises. You might begin by admitting that you have fantasized about other women. [I'll let that pass for now because you were writing about your boyfriend.] It might lead into a frank and open discussion about his sexual orientation, or he might just give you a line of bull. Hopefully you know him well enough to be able to tell the difference.

No comments: