Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bi-Curious Boyfriend?

Dr. Bill,

I am a young, 22 year old female college student, who is dating a 21 year old male college student. We have been officially together for about 3 months and I have fallen deeply in love with him. I feel that with every ounce of my heart, that he could be "the one" for me, because he is remarkably caring and loving and loves me for who I am, flaws and all. The reason why this particularly important is because, in my past relationships, I have been psychologically and mentally abused that eventually led to physical abuse, which did not escalate to an invariable extreme as I was relatively quick to walk away from the relationships. When I first got to know my boyfriend, I really could say that I did not know what it was like to be completely cared for. He truly seeks to talk out our problems, be emotionally healthy, and to communicate maturely -- all characteristics that really fell short with my previous relationships. What I am trying to say by all this is that this relationship means a tremendous amount to me and my dreams of being happily married do not seem too far away with this guy -- a guy who I feel I truly connect with.

One example of this is the undeniable chemistry is in our sex life. We have amazing, gratifying, out-of-this-world sex. There is a balance in who receives and gives pleasure -- we both seek and get turned on when pleasuring each other, something I believe is key to a healthy sex life. But you may still be wondering where I am getting with all this, and I'll tell you now: something particularly sensitive got brought up DURING love making. He likes to have conversations during sex (something I thought was a tad strange at first, but I quickly got over it and started talking, too), usually about his love for me or a reasonable fantasy. This time, however, he brought up the subject of a threesome, something I have fantasized about myself, so I carried on the topic. He asked if I would prefer having a threesome involving two men and and me or one involving two females and him. I said both because I have fantasized of being pleasured by two men, and women because I have always lusted over a beautiful woman's body. He said he knew a friend (a guy whom I have met) who might be interested and if I would consider actually doing it. For the sake of resuming love making, I agreed, letting him know I am not officially agreeing to anything because this is something that needs to be thoroughly discussed, and hoped we would leave it at that. He then brought up if I would be comfortable with some homoeroticism. I was shocked, but tried to just move on and resumed love making, saying that we should talk about this afterwards. I really didn't display an adverse reaction, because at the same time I was shocked, I was reminding myself that I would like to be pretty open about our sexuality. Trying to think that was a harmless request, I didn't get upset about it and I actually said I would consider it, still thinking of my own fantasy.

I have not brought it up to him as of now, and have decided that I am not completely comfortable with that suggestion yet (this happened yesterday). But what I am most confused about is how I should go about his disclosure. I said that I would expect and trust that he would remain faithful to us beyond any sort of consensual sexual exploration of our fantasies, and I even asked if he ever thought of himself as gay or bisexual. He said it was merely a curiosity. So what I am left with is this: am I wrong to doubt his commitment to us, as he has openly expressed his desire to someday be married and have children? Am I overreacting because, I, who consider myself "straight" relationship-wise, would probably want a sexual encounter with a woman? Are we just moving too fast with our sexual explorations? I apologize if I went into too much detail, but I feel that most of it might be useful in factoring in an opinion. Please let me know if you have any questions that might further enhance your understanding of the matter. Thank you, Dr. Bill, for your time.


If you are "over-reacting," as you put it, it's a bit strange, because why worry if he wants to experiment in a homoerotic fashion when you want to do the same? Reading between the lines there seems the fear that one or both of you might be gay, and what that might mean for a future relationship. You also have to remember that "homoerotic" refers to relationships between two women as well as two men, so maybe your boyfriend is just one of these straight guys who for some reason is turned on by the thought of two women getting it on. Did he specifically mean "homoeroticism" involving him and another guy? More on that in a moment.

Right at the outset I would have to say that if you are interested in a sexual encounter with a woman the proper classification for you might be bisexual but not "straight." Heterosexuals might be curious about homoerotic relationships, but a desire to put it into practice indicates a genuine attraction to your own sex. There is still a lot that is unknown about bisexuality and its reality; I tend to think if people are overwhelmingly attracted to their own sex [if they're being completely honest with themselves], regardless of any attraction to the opposite sex, they are essentially gay. There are plenty who will disagree with me. If a bi person is much more attracted to the opposite sex, then I might say that they were bisexual, but I at least couldn't think of such a person as being totally straight.

Now that we've got that out of the way, it sounds to me as if your boyfriend might still be trying to find himself. Or it could be that he's simply interested in swinging -- and if you're not comfortable with this you need to let him know at the outset. You may figure you'll lose him if you don't go along with him, but do you really want a guy who's going to be "swinging" if you'd prefer a monogamous relationship? I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the swinger's lifestyle; it just isn't for everyone. A man [or woman] can remain emotionally committed to his or her partner while maintaining a swinger's lifestyle, but if the partner isn't into this lifestyle he or she may simply feel continually betrayed or forced into scenes that really don't interest them.

I'd suggest what you should do now is sit down and talk to him [during a less, shall we say, hectic moment] and ask him more about this homoeroticism he expressed an interest in. Does he want you to get it on with a woman? Or does he want to get it on with a guy? Some bisexual men are really gay guys who just can't come fully to grips with their sexuality and come out. [If you scroll down you'll see how I feel about "mixed marriages" between gay and straight.] There have been many cases of women who have been in abusive relationships with brutish men finding comfort in the arms of a more gentle, sexually confused gay guy [not that all gay men are gentle, believe me].

If you have some attraction to women, don't let it throw you. It's perfectly okay to be gay or bi.
While I admit I can be cynical [realistic?] when it comes to male bisexuality, there are plenty of women who insist -- sometimes very loudly -- that they are genuinely bi and can have happy relationships with either sex. If you someday come to the conclusion that you'd be happier with a woman, there's absolutely nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about.

College tends to be the age of sexual experimentation, and many people your age haven't quite figured out if they're gay, bi or what-have-you. There's no need to be in a rush. This young man may be the love of your life, or -- as Judge Judy would put it -- in five years you may not even remember what he looked like. [For the record, when I was in college I thought of myself as straight, then bi. A few years later I realized I was gay, and have been happy with it ever since.]

College is a period for exploring and thinking about what you want to do with the rest of your life. Keep your mind open to possibilities and share your thoughts and fears with this fellow, who in all likelihood is dealing with the same insecurities that you are.

Bras and Bullets

I want to share a wild true story with you that happened to me some years ago. I was in a gay bar when the bartender, who was straight -- a very hairy, macho fellow with an enormous pot belly -- tore open his shirt to reveal that he was wearing a bra. When one of the customers started laughing at him, the bartender pulled out a gun and started shooting. Luckily, no one was hurt. Ever hear anything so weird?

Uh, I hope we don't go to the same bars. And no, I've never heard anything that weird (weirder, yes) and I have a feeling that neither did you.