Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bi-Situational Boyfriend

Hi Dr. Bill,

My 36 year old boyfriend initially revealed that he is bi-situational, I'm sure 
he's more interested in men than just when the situation presents itself. 
I realize he phrased it this way because he was anxious about my response and 
he would definitely never share this with his buddies or family.  He has since 
expressed his interest as a bi top who is oral versatile. He's a fantastic man 
and I embrace all aspects of who he is.  Never having been in a committed 
relationship with a man who identifies as bisexual, I'm not sure what this means 
over the long term.  It's something we will need to figure out as we go. What is 
the key to maintaining a healthy sexual relationship when one member of the 
couple identifies as bisexual?

Thank you so much for having a blog that delves into these questions! 
First, let me make it clear that there are people who will disagree with me,
but here it is. Identifying as bisexual is all well and good. The trouble is
that "bisexual" is a term that means different things to different people, and I'm
not convinced it really applies to many of the people who use it as a label. I can
not tell you the number of women who are out there who have husbands and boy-
friends who are attracted to men; I've heard from scores. The trouble is, many
of these guys are so ashamed of their homosexual feelings that they simply go
on the "down low." They have sex with men and have their "woman" as a front
They aren't honest with themselves so they have trouble being honest with the
people in their lives.

There are men who claim they only want sex with men and can only have 
romantic relationships with women. They often call themselves bisexual. I
call them closet cases. A true bisexual, according to bi advocates, can have
both sexual and romantic relationships with either sex. These men can't see
themselves in a relationship with a man because of their shame and embarress-
ment,what we call "internalized homophobia." And a man suffering from such
is often in denial as to the true extent of his homosexual feelings.  

Your boyfriend may insist -- as many of these men do -- that he is a bisexual
who leans towards being straight, that he is more attracted to women than to
men. But I hasten to add that a true bisexual does not have to have sex with
both men and women. Either can fully satisfy him or her. If that is genuinely the
case with your boyfriend, there shouldn't be any problem "maintaining a healthy
sexual relationship," as you put it.

But if your boyfriend is not really bisexual -- and I would not classify him
as such if in his heart of hearts [and gonads] his preference is men -- then
eventually he'll feel stifled in a heterosexual relationship or just have frequent
sexual contacts with other men. All you can do is talk it out with him and
hope he's totally honest with himself and with you.  

Frankly, "bi-situational" sounds like a lot of hooey to me, but I'm sure that
doesn't surprise you. Unless it refers to the fact that many men are bisexual
only in the sense that they do interact with both sexes but deep down are
primarily gay.  


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