Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Tired of Denying My Bisexual Desires” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Tired of Denying My Bisexual Desires,” a bisexual woman who was considering marrying her boyfriend of six years but worried about never being able to be with a woman again. “Should I just suck it up and deny who and what I am? I know that there are sacrifices and compromises in every relationship, so does this fall under that category, or am I kidding myself to think this is something I can just turn off?” After the jump, find out how she’s doing today.

Thank you so much for your response. There were a lot of people in the comment section that didn’t understand and were very hurtful in their choice of words, and while I’m sure you had about as much comprehension of the subject as some of your readers, you chose to remember that I am also a human being with feelings and treated me as such, so thank you for that. When I wrote to you about this issue I was in a very bad place about it, and honestly some of the things I read from commenters amplified my fears about “coming out” to my boyfriend. I sat and read random strangers not holding back at all and just hurtling around the very thoughts and prejudices that I feared from others and from him.

I realized that I indeed had to “come out” to him because even though he knew about my sexuality, I presented it to him the way that I have culturally been taught to deal with my bisexuality: giggling and joking of threesomes and basically making my sexuality about him in the hopes that he would allow me to express it. I realized that this was wrong on many levels and that I was misrepresenting myself all the way around. Seeing the hateful things people said where I was basically being called a slut and even called a cheater threw me into a tailspin. I ended up feeling hopeless and eventually suicidal, especially when I spoke to a few women who I knew identified as bisexual. Every. Single. One. Told me that they got with women on the side or lived as a shade of their true selves. Same story for the ones in same-sex relationships. I have no problem with couples who are polyamorous, but its just not for me, and that’s why I’ve always struggled with this.

This is not just something I need to spice up my sex life or make up for what I’m missing just being with one person; This is not even really about sex. When I said I didn’t feel fulfilled what I meant by that is not feeling fulfilled AS A HUMAN BEING. If your sexuality is not important and just something you should ignore or pretend doesn’t exist for someone else’s benefit then please go be a monk and stop trying to define what is acceptable based on your own view of love, relationships, sex, etc. That would be like me saying that because I am bisexual, I am the ultimate authority on bisexuality and I believe if you aren’t expressing it you’re living a lie.

The most hateful things I read actually came from women who identified as bisexual. I even read that I need to decide once and for all what sex I want to be with! If there are other bisexual girls that read this, please don’t do what I did. I wrote here before I spoke to anyone — even my therapist (yes, I have one for those that said I needed mental help), and it left me completely vulnerable as I imagined that my loved ones would’ve said the same things.

But you know what happened down the line when, after a deep depression and a hospitalization, I finally DID speak to my loved ones? They were so loving and understanding and knew me well enough to know that I’m not some insatiable slut who cant be in a relationship (this was important because I had been told so long that that’s what my sexuality meant that I had started to believe it), that loving someone is not denying who you are for them, and that they accept me no matter what! You know what happened when I finally found the courage to ‘come out’ to my boyfriend? He showed me what a real man is. It wasn’t easy at first and we went to therapy together a few times cause it was just so hard to tell him and so so important that he understand the reality of this and that it is a reality for me no matter what happened between us. I didn’t even know what I really needed to be fulfilled in this regard and just being able to openly talk about it with him helped us both to figure it out. Together.

Now I am happy to say that the whole thing brought us closer and has made us stronger than ever and we have now been married for two months! He still says that he wouldn’t be okay with a threesome, which is fine, though I think that might change with the right person/situation, but he is alright with me having a friendship with a sexual aspect with another woman in the same situation — married or in a longterm relationship with a partner who doesn’t need to share her sexuality. I realized that it would never be a good experience for me if it hurt him in any way, so I’ve decided to take it slow and just start with maybe a make-out session and see how that goes.

That’s all I have to report for now and I would like to thank you, Wendy, and all the commenters as well. Even the hurtful ones helped me in the long run cause eventually I could laugh and know that what they say doesn’t define me.

 
Thank you for your update and congratulations on your marriage. Best of luck and many years of happiness to you both!

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

108 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Meredith December 5, 2011, 12:15 pm

    At the risk of being turned upon, I have to say that I’m glad that she brought up the hurtful comments in her update. I think we, as commenters, have a tendency to just pass judgement on the people that write in for Wendy’s advice without thinking about what the effect of that judgement might be. I have noticed it in the past, and have experienced it when Wendy answered one of my letters. Come on people, we contributed to this woman being hospitalized. Let’s just keep in mind that words may not break bones, but they can inflict untold harm.

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      CG December 5, 2011, 12:23 pm

      Def!!!! I realize people are going to have opinions and disagree about things, but there are ways to express those opinions that can be constructive and helpful instead of mean-girly or worse.

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      Greebo December 5, 2011, 12:54 pm

      Sad but true. And a fair number of people like to encourage the snide, nasty comments. It’s too easy to be cruel to someone you’ll never see, and the unfortunately common “It’s the Internet, get over it” attitude is the same one that contributes to cyber bullying. It’s shocking that people can’t see the harm they do, given the reported number of Facebook/chat session induced suicides.

      And there’s a HUGE distinction between being tactfully or compassionately honest and just being a *****.

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  • Budj

    Budj December 5, 2011, 12:17 pm

    Grats on working through it. For the record – I would totally have a threesome if my wife was bisexual…maybe someday that will be a part of your life your husband will be willing to participate in it.

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    Wendy (not Wendy) December 5, 2011, 12:23 pm

    I don’t understand this at all: she says polyamory isn’t for her, yet describes herself as being in a polyamorous relationship (or rather planning to be one). I still resent that this kind of talk about being bisexual (rather than polyamorous) has made people doubtful about being in a relationship with me, because they think I won’t be satisfied with one person. I’m glad she got help. And I think a lot of people write in here for the very reason she said it was hurtful: with strangers, you get a true, unqualified opinion. I know I value that.

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      Anon December 5, 2011, 1:32 pm

      Isn’t what she’s referring to more of an open relationship than polyamory??

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      savannah December 5, 2011, 2:17 pm

      You can resent it but thats one of the traps of the LGBTQ community-lables and definitions. We are so obsessed with finding the right labels and what they represent and mean that we limit our ability to be and want a wide spectrum of things and also bisexual for instance. In turn the heteronormative world sees us as we tell them to. So someone is into poly and is bisexual . You’re not. But just the same way that people can be into poly and lesbian, or into poly and straight other peoples relationship preferences should not affect your sexual preference. I understand bisexual and poly have historically had a larger connection but most bi’s I know aren’t into poly, and don’t let the preferences of others stand in their way.

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        lets_be_honest December 5, 2011, 2:41 pm

        I think you hit the nail on the head with one part of your comment…”We are so obsessed with finding the right labels and what they represent and mean that we limit our ability to be…”
        I hope people read this the way I mean it and not rip me to shreds, but how about just not being obsessed with labels? Who gives a crap what you define yourself as? I don’t walk around saying I am a female into straight men. I just walk around. Its nobody’s business what I do in bed or who I’m in a relationship with and if anyone were to question me, I’d just say were in a relationship that works for us. Why the need for labels at all? I get the need to when fighting for rights, but other than that, I just don’t.

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        savannah December 5, 2011, 2:53 pm

        yeah…you’re not gonna win too many queers over with that.
        I understand what you are saying but the whole reason you “don’t walk around saying I am a female into straight men. I just walk around.” is because we live in your world…you don’t live in ours. I don’t wanna get too much into it and labels can be dangerous but a lot of what you stated is all about hetro privilege, just like white or male privilege. Because that privilege exists you don’t see the fact that ‘when fighting for rights’ means all the time, all day, every day, which is why labels are important. they are also limiting. And it’s not supposed to be people’s business but tell that to people who don’t recognize marriage for all.

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        lets_be_honest December 5, 2011, 2:58 pm

        I’ll preface this by saying I’m actually trying to learn what exactly you mean.

        How are you fighting for your rights all day, everyday in every situation you encounter? Do I think anyone should be able to marry whomever they want? Yes. Are you fighting for that at the grocery store? When you drive to work?
        I don’t mean to sound obnoxious, but other than fighting for a right to be married (a fight worth fighting!), what privileges do I get that you don’t? On an everyday basis, you get everything I do. You aren’t denied a home, job, car, food, etc. because you are gay. (Maybe you are, which would be illegal, but fill me in here) Marriage (and insurance through that), yes. You have to fight for that. Every day “privileges”? I don’t see it.

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        lets_be_honest December 5, 2011, 2:59 pm

        I just don’t think the comment “we live in your world” is really fair. Maybe I’m wrong.

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        savannah December 5, 2011, 3:10 pm

        OK, so I’m not using the word privileges, but rather privilege. Which is to say its not necessarily a laundry list of things- “home, job, car, food, etc.” Because it seems like you haven’t encountered the term privilege used in this way (which feels odd but maybe its because of where I live) I would look up the idea of male privilege:

        also heres a quick idea of the type of things i’m talking about. the daily stuff.
        http://queersunited.blogspot.com/2008/10/heterosexual-privilege-checklist.html
        I dont follow these blog, just looked up these post quickly.

        I’m sending you to links because its a complex concept that I want to explain better than the time i have to do so. (gotta get back to work at some point today!)

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        lets_be_honest December 5, 2011, 3:14 pm

        Thanks for the links!
        I appreciate your response, rather than just saying I’m obnoxious for not understanding it and asking for explanation. This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to educate myself on here about things I don’t grasp, most recently on a polygamy thread, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

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        Painted_lady December 5, 2011, 6:48 pm

        Thanks for posting these!!!

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark December 5, 2011, 6:44 pm

        Newsflash, every day a teenager in America is denied a home BECAUSE they are gay. All too often, they are kicked out by their “good christian” parents. (Surprise, surprise.) Look into gay teen homeless shelters if you don’t believe me.

        Every day, another teenager is sent off to “pray away the gay” in horrible re-education camps where the “counselors” often even go so far as to strap electrodes to the teen’s genitals for some “much needed” aversion therapy.

        Every day, somebody is kept from their dying partner in the hospital because they aren’t REALLY family.

        Every day, somebody IS fired for being gay. It happens all the time.

        And all these horrible abuses, I’ve outlined for you? Hell, that’s just here in America. Where things actually are slowly getting better. Look abroad and it only gets worse.

        Every day, somebody is jailed in Iran for being gay.

        Every day, a woman is stoned to death in Africa for being a lesbian.

        The moral of the story, lets_be_honest, is that just because you have your head buried in the sand, doesn’t mean that you actually know what you are talking about. Especially on this issue. Just because you don’t know something is happening, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening…

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark December 5, 2011, 3:00 pm

        Yeah. I love so this argument. “I am so deep because I don’t need to walk around declaring my sexuality. I don”t need to label myself straight… After all it’s nobody’s business but my own…” Well, FUCK YOU! You also haven’t had to spend your ENTIRE life fighting for your most basic rights either. Seriously. What an obnoxious comment, lets_be_honest. Sometime I think the moniker lets_be_hopelessly_naive would simply be a much better fit.

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        lets_be_honest December 5, 2011, 3:37 pm

        Well I certainly didn’t say I was “deep” but since I’ve been elected the Deep Commenter of the Day, my deep label for you (ya know, since I’m deep and love labels) is that you’re an asshole. Good day buddy, I know I’m havin one. Seems you never are, so hope that turns around for you.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark December 5, 2011, 6:19 pm

        God, you do take personal offense to everything. And you sure do love to resort to petty name calling and personal attacks. (I guess it’s what you’re best at, isn’t it?) Look, I’m sorry, but your claim that gay people don’t have to fight much of their lives is just…um…blissfully ignorant…even in this day in age.

        Check out the It Gets Better Project for further evidence of this.

        So, yeah, seriously, lets_be_honest, You have NO idea how hard it can be —- and still is —- to grow up gay in the midwest. Hell, or for that matter…even Los Angeles. For you to act all high and mighty about how your sexuality doesn’t define you is all well and good. But gay people are often solely defined by their sexuality on the playground. That happens each and every time they are called “Fag,” “Loser,” “Cocksucker,” “Asshole,” “faggot,” whatever. Gay people may not even want to be labeled — but they constantly are. And if not on the playground, by those who think themselves worthy of leading the entire nation. Heck, the ENTIRE slate of Republicantial Presidential Candidates denigrates homosexuals as often as they possibly can in a pathetic, misguided effort to excite the base… The fact that you don’t understand this makes you lucky, I guess. But for crying out loud, show some fucking compassion.

        And another thing, if I express an incredibly dumb opinion, I can be called out on it and not overreact to it like some petty reactionary bitch. It’s an attitude you might do well to look into. I’m just saying…

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      • ApresMoi

        dans December 6, 2011, 2:36 am

        I guess your name says it all, but I just don’t see why you spew out so much hate! I rarely post, but I do visit the site and read through the comments on a daily basis and both of you guys have very interesting viewpoints and things to contribute. You talk about personal attacks? read through your own posts. Throwing hissy little fits because people are not as “enlightened” as you makes you look like the bitch in this conversation.
        Though I guess there are no rules saying you have to be nice.
        Savannah’s post was a million more times more enlightening and helpful

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark December 6, 2011, 2:43 am

        I may get angry and annoyed. But I challenge you to find a post where I call somebody as “asshole.” Seriously, go ahead. Find it. Naive, yes. I call people naive on here all the time, because, frankly, many are.

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      • theattack

        theattack December 6, 2011, 3:56 am

        Saying “fuck you” to someone on the internet is worse than calling someone an asshole, IMO.

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        Christy December 6, 2011, 8:57 am

        And calling the token gay guy a bitch might not be the strongest argument you could make.

        Rock on, BGM, you know I’ve got your back. Your third paragraph is so, so true. And even IF your friends accept you AND you’re protected from on-the-job discrimination AND your family doesn’t disown you, it’s still harder to be gay than it is to be straight.

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        Dans December 6, 2011, 11:49 am

        Not trying to call the token gay guy a bitch. Just using the same language he used to describe someone who is not seeing his point of view to illustrate that when you start getting so ugly with your words the meaning of what you’re trying to say ( no matter how constructive) changes completely and what was a good debate turns into something else.

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        lets_be_honest December 6, 2011, 10:07 am

        Thanks dans (and Painted_lady, and the rest of you sticking up for me on here).

        As I said above and thought was clear, I do try to learn on here. Savannah’s post was really helpful with what I was not seeing. I never claimed to know everything.

        Just one more thing before I bow out…for the people on here berating me for trying to learn more about your lives, it doesn’t help your cause (for lack of a better term) to curse out people trying to learn more about it and get a better understanding of the bs you deal with every day. If you want change, my suggestion would be educating people nicely about what you have to deal with (like Savannah did). It’d probably get a lot more people to understand where you are coming from and maybe they would want to fight the fight with you.

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        savannah December 6, 2011, 10:37 am

        At the same time as I mostly agree with that assessment and attitude you have I have to be honest and say that I totally and completely understand where BGM and others are coming from. While it is not conductive to your greater understanding, the positions you took: about why the need for labels, the unawareness about hetro privilege and even proposing the solution “educating people nicely” are all repetitive default positions of people who don’t see the harshness that BGM, myself and others have faced on a near daily basis in a society that prides itself on being free. I understand BGM’s annoyance and outrage because he has probably met a thousand of you. I think education is key as you said but I’m also fairly young. I don’t have decades worth of bitterness, frustration and injustice boiling up inside of me but I know a lot of queers who do and who would take offense to your position that if we just sat down people and nicely explained to them the blatant injustices we see all the time they they are blind to,that we are humans too, things would change. That it’s our responsibility to do that.
        I think it is, at least on forums like this. And like you said you were much more receptive to education than outrage, and I think thats great and I’m happy to have this dialogue with you. I think its been really constrictive. But I also think that the original LW would have been much better served had she gone to savage instead of wendy, not for the advice she gave which was great but for the community he has there who I think would have been better suited to deal with her issues.

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        lets_be_honest December 6, 2011, 10:49 am

        What other way is there though to overcome than to educate? Sure, its not your “job” nor should you have to speak for every gay person, but how else could this issue be “fixed?” I do think education is the only way, and if its coming across kindly, even the better and more effective, imo.

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        savannah December 6, 2011, 11:01 am

        I agree. But if you look at it from a different angle perhaps you’ll not agree with but rather understand other feelings towards this issue. For example: gender equality. I suspect many women would feel some of the same indignation present here if they were told to just explain and educate men about gender inequalities, that women are actually not somehow lower and to illustrate all of the issues we face on a daily basis because of gender discrimination. Oh, and ladies, remember to do it nicely! Men will take it so much better that way.

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      • avatar

        haggith December 6, 2011, 11:31 am

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        lets_be_honest December 6, 2011, 11:50 am

        I get and agree with what you’re saying. Its not fair at all. But, as is much in life, it is what it is. If change needs to be made, it won’t be made without educting the naysayers. I hear about the “nice” thing, but thats just life. Whats the saying…get more sugar with honey (I know I’m messing that up)?

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        Painted_lady December 6, 2011, 12:52 pm

        Please don’t misunderstand me to say that no one has the right to be angry and frustrated. As far as the comparison to gender discrimination, I get the frustration at having to constantly explain yourself or defend your position or have to listen to someone tell you you’re overreacting. I get it, and gender discrimination is far less socially acceptable than homophobia.

        But if someone’s looking to you for information, or their blunder was innocently made and with the best of intentions, how could you turn them away with an insult or a dismissal? I understand treating your enemies like enemies, but even your biggest ally (or someone who falls under the same or similar labels as you) is not going to be perfect and perfectly wise. Don’t treat those people like enemies, too. Not just because you “need” allies but rather because it’s the right and good thing to do.

        I’m young, and I work with a lot of middle-aged black ladies whom I love. Occasionally, I say something idiotic and offensive without meaning to, simply because I’m not black, and I also wasn’t around for desegregation. I was nervous the first couple of times I asked questions of my colleagues because I was afraid they were going to assume I was being dense intentionally. Fortunately, they were wonderful about it, and I learned so much, even though it wasn’t their job, and I’m so grateful. And no, not one of them is “representative” of their entire ethnic group, but many were happy to share their experience and perspective with me in hopes of widening my own perspective.

        I’m not saying no one has a right to be angry. I’m not saying “playing nice” is always going to work. But I am saying that, minority or not, if you treat people like enemies, they’re probably going to act that way.

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        savannah December 6, 2011, 1:09 pm

        yeah. so i’m just gonna reiterate what I wrote to lets_be_honest with that same argument:’I agree’…

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        Splash December 6, 2011, 8:44 am

        I’m totally seeing how you telling her to “FUCK YOU” and calling her a “petty reactionary bitch” is definitely not, whatsoever, in any sense of the word, name calling or a personal attack as you just accused her of.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark December 6, 2011, 1:14 pm

        Clearly ONLY Savannah, Christy, and those like them get it. But frankly, yes, lets_be_honest’s sweeping, blanket statements about homosexuality were so hopelessly clueless that it totally set me off. I mean, you know, if she had said this same crap in 1990 or so, I would have been more accepting. But it’s 2011. And yes, after two decades of this bullshit, I will admit that my patience is simply at an end.

        Look, I’m sorry, just because someone are hopelessly ignorant about something, doesn’t mean I have to patiently educate them. I mean, wake up! Just look around, open your eyes… Pretty much EVERY month we have breaking news of some gay kid killing themselves in a town where clearly nobody fucking cares. We have Bachbitch running around DAILY making offensive comments and she is running to be the fucking President. (Millions love her!!!) We have bigoted rappers constantly saying idiotic things… Worse, then performers on shows I like — Tracy Morgan of 30 Rock — then cluelessly doing the same… Oh, but it’s all a joke? Ha ha ha… Hilarious. So, yes…it’s all very taxing.

        And then, I come on here only to find lets_be_honest making the same kind of crappy bogus, bullshit, clueless generalizations. You know what? I was offended. You know what, I still am.

        PS: Telling someone to fuck off isn’t as offensive to me as calling them an asshole. It really isn’t. (Hey, if she told me to fuck off, I wouldn’t have batted an eye.) And labeling somebody a reactionary bitch AFTER they’ve already called you an asshole and gleefully implied you have a shitty life isn’t exactly the same thing either. It somewhat astounds me how few on here can see that. But then, perhaps that’s not really at all surprising to me at this point.

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        Painted_lady December 5, 2011, 7:44 pm

        I’m straight, so I’m totally not jumping on you, just pointing out statistics. Most people are straight, so we don’t have to explain that we are. It’s assumed. It’s sort of like the term “male nurse.” It’s not as necessary as it used to be to say that, as many more nurses are male these days, but it’s still something of an assumption that if you have a nurse and you don’t qualify that title, the nurse is female.

        Also, it’s true some people don’t like labels. But think about the last time you went on a date. Did you worry that people were going to flip if you held hands with your date? How many times have you given your SO a peck on the cheek in the grocery store or getting out of the car? Because of these concerns, LGBTQ folks are going to be labeled whether they like it or not. And how else was LW going to talk about her needs? Labels are words. We use them to talk about what we mean. “Lady” is a word that labels me. It’s a less political one, but still. So is “tall,” and so is “redhead.” If I took offense to a student of mine describing me to a stranger looking for me as “that tall redheaded lady over there,” then no one would ever be able to describe me. If I went to the store and said “I need to find underwear,” the sales clerk would ask whether I wanted women’s or men’s, and whether I want the label or not, I better tell her something. Unfortunately, labels regarding sexual identity are really political right now, and it sucks that the folks whose identities correspond to those labels have no choice about being political and potentially offensive. It’s not right or fair, but the people who use those labels didn’t pick the charged nature of the term, so it isn’t fair that they should be labeled political just because they want to speak about themselves.

        Sigh. Sorry. I go on a tear sometimes. I hope I didn’t offend you – you’re awesome for wanting to know more, I think, and boo to anyone who insults you for it. You didn’t decide to not know any of this just to be insulting to other people, so anyone who yells at you for not knowing…yeah. Not okay.

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      • theattack

        theattack December 6, 2011, 3:58 am

        Wow. This is a great comment, tall red-headed lady! One of your best, I think, and a perfect way to explain this concept of privilege to someone mixed in with labels.

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      LW December 5, 2011, 7:36 pm

      Sorry, I meant to write ‘I thought’ it wasnt for me. I actually think my fear of being labeled poly or a swinger made it difficult to make any definitive moves on this earlier in my life. I realized though that being poly didnt mean that you were going to swingers clubs and sleeping with strangers, not that theres anything wrong with that, Its just not for me;) and that you can define your relationship any way that works for you. I dont know that we can really be considered poly since he doesnt want to have sex with anyone else and that makes me feel guilty, which I think is why I was pushing for threesomes when we first started discussing this, but I guess im just going to have to trust him when he says hes okay with it. I would like to point out though that my relationship doesnt define yours anymore than anyone elses does, so dont let it! I was a bit backwards with posting, I put a full additional update at the end, sorry!

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        Painted_lady December 5, 2011, 11:49 pm

        I like Dan Savage’s term “monogamish,” personally. If for nothing else, he seems to have invented it because it’s what best describes his relationship, which also then gives you permission to create a “label,” so to speak, that defines you. If you want to and need it, that is.

        If you haven’t read his colum, I highly recommend it. You seem to be, at your own admission, pretty sheltered about your options, and it may give you some relief to realize that so many people are going through the same – or similar – things as you. He’s brilliant and funny, and he very much espouses a “whatever works for you and your partner(s)” attitude. I imagine it might be pretty freeing for you to check him out if you haven’t: http://www.thestranger.com/savage. He also has a completely hilarious podcast you can download on iTunes.

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    camille905 December 5, 2011, 12:29 pm

    Good for you! I also am bisexual and have dated both men and women in the past though only once was I dating both at the same time (in general I only date one person at a time). My bf and I have an agreement that it’s just us in our relationship. I tend to be kind of jealous anyway and so it’s not fair to him to have share me if I won’t share him (in my opinion), though we do admire the ladies together.

    That being said- that’s what works for us. I’m glad you found something that works for you.

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  • Jess

    Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com December 5, 2011, 1:19 pm

    Gosh, I don’t know what to say here. Firstly, I am so sorry to LW for all that she endured in reading the comments here. It sounds like this came at a really vulnerable time and maybe was the match that set fire to the dry kindling. I’m so sorry for what you went through.

    I don’t recall if the comments were especially harsh on this letter. I was not one who left a comment (other than a “yes” to someone else’s) so I am trying to look at this objectively.

    I WILL say that I consistently find the DW community to be one of the best around in terms of general good will. That’s a rare commodity in a forum-heavy website and one that Wendy should feel very proud of. Yes, comments can be snide occasionally but there is almost always a healthy balance of people giving out “tough love “and people who are entirely sympathetic. In fact, Wendy herself uses a type of tough love pretty often! (patented and widely supported!) I am very sorry LW that you clearly didn’t feel experience that.

    It should go without saying that when you place a question out for public comment, that it’s going to illicit a wide range of reactions and criticism. The anonymity can draw out negative people, yes, but it also provides entirely objective opinions –which is what the LWs are seeking. Of course, of course, commenters don’t have the whole story. They’re judging on bits of information. They don’t KNOW the LWs. But again, that IS the very point, I believe. It can be VERY hard to take for sure.

    As for the original question, I think what got tangled in the comments and LW’s reactions were the issues of BISEXUALITY on one hand and MONOGAMY on the other hand. Most comments I saw were reacting to the latter –the idea that exploring a sexual relationship with a new person (a woman) while remaining in a committed relationship to a person (a man) who, according to LW, would probably not be ok with it. The debate became about whether or not her partner would allow her to have an open relationship. I don’t think many (any) felt that there was anything wrong with exploring her sexuality –no matter the orientation. Many felt it shouldn’t matter if the “explorations” are with a man or woman –the issue is having sex with someone other than your committed partner. I tend to agree.

    I don’t know if that helps or hurts but I did want to address the fact that there seemed to be 2 different issues in debate.

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      lets_be_honest December 5, 2011, 1:24 pm

      You said it a lot better than me.

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    • Jess

      Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com December 5, 2011, 1:29 pm

      P.S. For LW, there was a great article written on here a week or so ago about polyamory. It was written by a guest author and I can’t seem to find it right now but hopefully someone can provide you the link (or you can click through Wendy’s archives). I think that would be a valuable resource for you as you and your husband navigate this road of a (semi/possibly/partially) open relationship. I recall there were web communities where people could get support. My understanding is that there are members of all sexual orientation. You may well want to check that out.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest December 5, 2011, 1:22 pm

    I re-read the original letters and skimmed the comments after seeing you felt they were so unnecessarily hurtful.
    Its seems you wrote in and said (or this is how most took it) you had a great guy and a young child and were denying yourself by not cheating on him. I think THAT is why the responses were the way they were. People saying don’t cheat and make your kid top priority isn’t really that nasty at all, unless of course there is something you are defensive about for a reason…
    You did not write in saying what you seem to say above. I’m also confused about how “quickly” (you wrote in March) you have gone from either wanting to leave this man, cheat on him, find a woman, decide you are a lesbian, etc. to marrying this guy. Also kind of lost on how you say he has told you he does not want you to be other other women or join in on a 3some, but then say you are just going to take it slow by making out only. Am I reading this wrong? Sounds like you just married someone who asked you not to cheat basically and now you are going to do just that, but not ‘get to home base’ right away.
    Am I missing something?
    Either way, glad you are feeling better about your situation. Best of luck.

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    • sobriquet

      sobriquet December 5, 2011, 1:59 pm

      Yes, you are missing something:

      “…he is alright with me having a friendship with a sexual aspect with another woman in the same situation — married or in a longterm relationship with a partner who doesn’t need to share her sexuality.”

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        honeybeenicki December 5, 2011, 2:07 pm

        That line wasn’t in the original letter. It appears the LW hadn’t actually told her boyfriend/husband at all at the time of the original letter.

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        lets_be_honest December 5, 2011, 2:08 pm

        And to that I ask…wtf is a friendship with a sexual aspect? Like its ok for her to be friends with someone she’s attracted to? or that she can hook up with her friends? Maybe LW herself could pipe in and answer that. I am still confused, although good for her for feeling better. I hope they have defined whats ok and whats not ok. I am not clear on that from what she wrote. But I still don’t think the advice was cruel at all. From what she said in the original letter, I think the advice was right-Its not ok to cheat just because its the same sex.

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      • Budj

        Budj December 5, 2011, 2:20 pm

        Depends on how the partner feels – if it were me I wouldn’t view it as cheating if I was aware of it and she didn’t start emotionally cheating on me with the woman. For whatever reason my jealousy issues pertain to men only.

        I think her husband is saying she can mess around with another married woman who has her same urges, but to make sure it is just the two of them with eachother and not anyone else in the same event or different events. I’m assuming to lock down any chance that either of them contracts an std by maintaining the same partner in her pursuits.

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    Sarah December 5, 2011, 2:08 pm

    I’m so confused.

    How is deciding to be committed to a member of one sex (either male or female) denying your identity as a bisexual? Isn’t it just saying that you’re committed to *this* person, not their entire gender? This is not meant to be snarky, just an honest question.

    I feel like she isn’t being honest with herself (not judging- there’s something we’re all lying to ourselves about)- this isn’t about her sexual orientation, it’s about her wanting to have multiple partners. And that’s okay, if it’s okay with her partner.

    I rarely post (this may actually be my 2nd post), but I think it’s time to delurk.

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      Allison December 5, 2011, 10:22 pm

      I get what you’re saying. I don’t think any bisexual person should be expected to choose one sex or the other. However, I had assumed the issue (through my vague recollection) was more about monogamy than bisexuality, and her choosing this one guy over having other, future partners. But I guess not? Everyone who chooses to be with one person has to give up having other sexual partners, regardless of their sexuality or the sex of their partner. I can kind of see how you’d be giving up certain characteristics among the other sex that you like, but I feel like it’s the same when you give up one type of guy or woman for another.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 December 5, 2011, 2:10 pm

    It seems you took a couple of bad comments, and totally disregarded the a lot of good advice that agreed with what Wendy had to say, and it definitely seems you took offense to people who think that if your partner wants to be in a monogamous relationship, that you shouldn’t be excluded because you are attracted to women as well as men. It really does seem that you choose to take those 1 or 2 comments to heart, and then come on here and pretty much bash everyone instead of taking the 55 comments that gave you good advice. I’m glad you are feeling better now, but I feel like if you take just a couple of bad comments out of a huge amount of good comments, and that drives you into a state that you had to be hospitalized then you were probably heading there anyways. I don’t want to be mean, but I have seen way worse in the comments section than what people wrote into you, and just reading the first 15-20 comments under your original letter showed how much the commenters cared about you, and sympathized with your situation, just for you to come back here and try to blame them for the downward spiral you took. Again I’m glad you are feeling better but it is annoying to try to see you blame everything that happened to you on some people you have never met.

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      savannah December 5, 2011, 2:30 pm

      Yeah the first 20 or so were thoughtful…but after that I see where the LW is coming from. There was a lot of unnecessary ‘tough love’ and indignation from a number of people in multiple comments.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 December 5, 2011, 2:39 pm

        There were 1 or 2 larger threads on there that were debating over a single comment made, but I don’t think that is a reason to come on here, and blame everything that happened to her on those comments. I really am glad she is healthy now, but I still don’t agree with her coming on here, and blaming everyone for her why she wasn’t healthy.

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        Something More December 5, 2011, 9:36 pm

        Who are you to decide what gets to upset her or not? She said the comments upset her. End of story. Her feelings don’t need to take into consideration your (or anyone else’s) opinions on the matter.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 December 5, 2011, 9:51 pm

        you are more than welcome to read my reader revealed to find out who I am and then you can tell me where I said how she should feel. I didn’t realize what she says goes around here, and she was the only person who could be upset with something and hers is the only opinion who’s counts. I got the memo now though. Letters writers are the only ones who can get upset about something and that is the end of the story. By the way though I didn’t tell her she should not be upset about it, I just said she annoyed with they way she came on here and

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      ReginaRey December 5, 2011, 2:56 pm

      I agree with you Bagge, as controversial as it may be. I don’t think my original comments is one of the ones this LW was hurt by, but I’m still rather peeved for the people who DID provide the tough love. As Jess said above, I think this has been misconstrued. The vast majority of people who were upset, annoyed, or less-than-thrilled with the LW’s original letter seemed to be so because of the monogamy dispute. I don’t think anyone was out to get her because of her sexual orientation, or trying to make her feel ashamed or fearful of coming out. They were trying to get her to see that her wanting to be with women AND her boyfriend might not go over well, and might not be fair.

      I also think that this update is spewing a fair amount of blame where it isn’t deserved. While I truly feel sorry that the LW spun so deeply out of control as to require a hospital stay, to blame that even partially on DW commenters seems a bit out of line. As Bagge said, if you’re going to end up hospitalized, that was likely going to happen no matter what. And yes, it worries me that this LW ended up married so quickly, after only months ago being hospitalized and extremely confused as to what to do. I wish her all the luck in the world, but I doubt that her problems have been resolved entirely.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark December 5, 2011, 2:40 pm

    Well, I don’t know what to make of this update. Other than to say that this is why I have ultimately been less than thrilled with my bisexual boyfriends in the past. They, two, (not a typo but me trying to be all clever and a SATC pun maker) always wanted something I couldn’t offer. Oh, and then (of course!) they eventually both got married to conform with society. Fine. Good. Whatever… Only they STILL kept calling me… And surprise, surprise! Their wives so did NOT know… So kudos to her for at least being honest.

    It’s funny, bisexuals always talk a good game, about how “deep” they are because they fall in love with the person, and not the gender and blah blah blah… (I see this all the time on Dan Savage) Well, then how come they always seem so desperately fixated on gender when they wail on and on about how deprived they are as a person?

    Look, none of my exes missed just the masculine nature of our friendship. And while they clearly enjoyed my company at the end of the day it was all about how much they missed my cock and what I could do with it.

    They always seem to want and crave what they don’t presently have…

    I suppose that’s to be expected as it’s all so human nature to want what you don’t have. That said — it does mean I can’t see myself seriously dating another bisexual ever again. It’s just not for me. Frankly, I think it would be much more easier (for every one!) if bisexuals dated and married bisexuals and were just in open relationships… But somehow, they never seem to do that. And if you even suggest such a thing, they accuse you of being a bigot. Okay, whatever. But at the end of the day, it all just seems a wee bit selfish. I mean, it’s always about getting what they want… And expecting the non-bisexual partner to be understanding… I mean, she gets to have some nifty variety in her sex life, and the hubby doesn’t. Not very fair.

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      lets_be_honest December 5, 2011, 2:48 pm

      Totally agree. While I’ve never been in that situation, it does seem like wanting what you can’t have. Would I want David beckham in my bed tonight? Sure. Would I cheat on my imaginary spouse because I was being deprived of David, no.

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        lets_be_honest December 5, 2011, 2:51 pm

        I’ll also add it sounds like the husband wants a monogomous relationship and is being “deprived” of that. IDK, life’s not fair I guess.

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      Milla December 6, 2011, 9:28 pm

      Sigh.

      I’m mostly a lurker on Dear Wendy, but I gotta say, bisexual stereotypes exhaust me. I’m a bisexual (well, I prefer queer for a number of reasons, but the point’s the same). While the guys you’ve dated sound like assholes, they’re just that. . . assholes. I’m a bisexual woman who is in a long-term relationship (five years in, rings on fingers!) with another bisexual woman, and neither of us is interested in being with anyone else. Yeah, we’re both attracted to men, but that mostly means we have an agreement that if James McAvoy happened to show up, we’d both take him in happily.

      Maybe it’s easier because we’re both bisexual, but we’re both absolutely monogamous. Open relationships are absolutely not for us. Not that it’s bad thing if people are interested in open relationships (with honest communication!) but we exist. And there are lots of bisexual folks like us.

      Basically, please don’t conflate “bisexual” with “asshole.”

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  • avatar

    Christy December 5, 2011, 2:43 pm

    I’m sorry about the hurtful comments, LW. As a member of the Dear Wendy community, I hope that we provide helpful advice rather than being mean under the guise of “tough love”. I’m glad you’ve found a relationship style that works for you and I wish you the best of luck!

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  • avatar

    John Rohan December 5, 2011, 2:47 pm

    He still says that he wouldn’t be okay with a threesome

    Holy cow, did she pick the wrong number then. Only about 99.99% of all hetero men would not only be OK with a threesome, but consider it like winning the lottery…! People are going to flame me for that, but it’s the truth.

    BTW, I read through the comments from the original letter, and it seems more of the harsh comments were from people thinking she was looking for justification to cheat. Part of the reason may not have necessarily been her words, but the title of the post: “denying my desires”. Although, overall, the comments really weren’t that bad. If she is so hypersensitive about this, to the point of thoughts of suicide(!), then yes, therapy was the way to go.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 December 5, 2011, 3:35 pm

      Yeah that isn’t true at all. I DON’T want to have a threesome with my SO, and I know a whole lot of guys the don’t. Would I have loved to have one when I was single? Sure, but I couldn’t handle somebody else giving that kind of pleasure to somebody I was in love with. A three some would have to be a completely unattached thing for me to do it.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster December 5, 2011, 5:17 pm

      I’ve got a boyfriend who does not want a threesome. He said it would make him jealous. As a single man he would have been open to it, though the opportunity never arose. I actually feel the same way. I was nearly in one once, but they were both friends and none of us were dating each other. I see it this way: there are some things that are just fantasy. They turn you on in theory, but in reality notsomuch.

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        John Rohan December 5, 2011, 9:12 pm

        OK, just to clarify, I meant over 99% of guys would like a threesome with another woman, not with another guy…

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      • theattack

        theattack December 6, 2011, 4:07 am

        Yeah, I think that’s still inaccurate. My boyfriend does not want one at all, and has never wanted one. And he was not lying to keep me happy, because I was actually a little curious about having one. It’s something many guys talk about in theory, but I doubt that most of them would actually go for it.

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      • theattack

        theattack December 6, 2011, 4:16 am

        Not to mention that most guys probably realize it takes a lot of sexual competence to pull something like that off.

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        John Rohan December 6, 2011, 9:04 am

        theattack,

        You might want to look at this poll, where only 5% of straight guys said they’ve never had a threesome and don’t want one.

        OK, so 95% is a little lower than the 99% I claimed, but still… lol

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        John Rohan December 6, 2011, 9:05 am

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 December 6, 2011, 10:26 am

        Yeah 400 and something votes that is a really big spectrum. and I think you are missing the point that most single guys would want one, but a lot of guys in a relationship wouldn’t want one. which is obviously the case from this letter, and what myself, theattack, and taramonster are trying to tell you. Yeah most buys might want a threesome in there life time, but they don’t want one with a women the are in relationship with that they love.

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        John Rohan December 6, 2011, 10:47 am

        The poll only specified straight guys, not guys in a relationship or not.

        If it were me, I would very much want to experience my biggest fantasies with my SO. Who else? But that’s just me.

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        amber December 6, 2011, 11:05 am

        5% said they were not interested, but only 46% said that they wanted to with 2 girls and only 17% said they have. and i think like theattack said it’s one thing to just have that as a fantasy and another thing to go through with it. i think threesomes are much more awkward in reality than they appear in ‘movies’ or in fantasies. it would be interesting to know of those 17% who have been with two girls, how many would do it again, if they would do it if they were in a committed relationship, etc.

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        silver_dragon_girl December 6, 2011, 11:10 am

        That would be interesting. My bf has had one before, and wants one with me, so I would be interested to know how common that is.

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        John Rohan December 6, 2011, 5:38 pm

        The problem with that, is that the questions were not mutually exclusive. What about the guy that wants to try both types of threesomes? 2 girls & a guy and a girl? It looks like they could have chosen only one option, but I’m not sure.

        But anyway, even using your strict interpretation, that’s still 63% of men who have, at a minimum, want a MFF threesome now or wanted one at one time. That’s still a far cry from people on this forum who are saying “most” men wouldn’t want one.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 December 6, 2011, 11:18 am

        So if you take a poll from the people on here that replied you have 60% of guys in a relationship who wouldn’t want a threesome, and 40% who would.

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        John Rohan December 6, 2011, 5:41 pm

        I’m wondering how you can be so sure who are males and who are females here.

        Anyway, that poll used 433 responses, so it’s a slightly better sample than this forum. Heck, even my own group of male friends would be a bigger sample – and there’s not a single one of them who would turn down a threesome if the opportunity came up (many of them would be happy even finding a twosome!). The married ones, of course, would never admit it to their wives…

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 December 6, 2011, 9:59 pm

        it was pretty easy, I’m a guy and the 3 other people I used they used the phrase my boyfriend, not very hard from there. That and a lot of people have been on here since the blog started and I know who they are. You could poll my friends which would be a bigger sample size as well and you would get the opposite from your friends, but you seem to keep forgetting we are talking about guys in relationships here not single guys.

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        savannah December 6, 2011, 9:15 am

        HA! really? I’d think about this through more. Your gf or wife has bi tendencies/is bi and wants to have a threesome with a women and you. You think great. Then you think about it some more: This other women has a lot that you will never be able to offer your SO. What if she’s actually more into the other woman or women in general? What if this is just a way for them to have sex and she’s including you so you think its ok? What if they ignore you the whole time? Where did you’re SO pick this women up anyway? How long have they been talking to each other? What if she leaves you for this woman?- That my friends is called catastrophizing.

        Yeah in a hetero situation maybe you’re right. But for the LW’s husband and others I think there can be a lot of insecurities and confusion involved in a proposed threesome. My gut feeling is that a lot of men in his situation would not jump at the chance. I’m guessing even you might take a pause.

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        John Rohan December 6, 2011, 10:59 am

        I can do just as much “catastrophizing” on anything, including starting a completely monogamous relationship.

        Moreover, if my wife/girlfriend secretly preferred women and wanted to leave me for one, do you really think it would be healthier if I prevented her? I’m not going to keep someone trapped, if they don’t really want to be with me. But I’m crazy that way.

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      • kare

        Kare December 8, 2011, 12:56 am

        There’s totally an episode of Friends that depicts that situation. Sorry for the random tv sitcom connection.

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    silver_dragon_girl December 5, 2011, 3:05 pm

    Ok, I read back through the original letter and comments. I didn’t see anything that looked all *that* mean. Some were a little tough on you, yes, and I agree with Meredith at the top- internet anonymity does tend to give us all the feeling that we can be as harsh as we want, and it’s easy to forget the real person at the other end.

    That being said, I think your horrible reaction to the comments wasn’t because they were THAT harsh or THAT mean. I think it was because for the most part they confirmed your worst fears about “coming out” to your boyfriend, friends and family. You were so scared that you would lose him, and be judged by everyone, that you wrote to Wendy…and then most of the commenters agreed that, yes, you probably would be.

    Well, luckily and happily for you, that didn’t happen 🙂 Everyone was understanding and I think given the circumstances you received the best possible outcome.

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  • avatar

    MiMi December 5, 2011, 4:52 pm

    Whiner.

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      over it December 16, 2011, 4:57 pm

      Mean.

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie December 5, 2011, 4:57 pm

    I’m sorry the LW was hurt by some comments but that’s a risk LWs must accept. It wasn’t me in this case but some of my comments have been less then kind but I strongly felt that it need to be said. I’m very glad that Tired of Denying worked out a solution that works for both of them.

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    cporoski December 5, 2011, 5:22 pm

    So I looked at my comment and I stand by what I said but not the way I said it. I am sorry I was harsh. I was harsh because you have a kid and your boyfriend is a great dad to that kid. It read to me that you wanted to step out on him or leave him entirely because you wanted to have sex with some girls. Maybe there isn’t enough understanding of Bisexuality, but I agree with bittergaymark, won’t you always be denying one side or another. I am glad you guys are together now and hope for the best.

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    Matcha December 5, 2011, 5:35 pm

    I don’t think the commenters were judging your bisexuality. Like Jess said, they had an issue with the monogamy aspects of your relationship. (Or rather non-monogamy.)

    You say you don’t want a polyamorous relationship, you just want a FWB. And I think people took issue with that because it seemed that your boyfriend/now-husband was very traditional. Even now it seems like you’re pushing. “He still says that he wouldn’t be okay with a threesome, which is fine, though I think that might change with the right person/situation.” I think a lot of people’s wonder was what makes HIS situation, the desire to have a monogamous relationship less valid than yours. Because it’s your need for fulfillment as a human being and his is not?

    You obviously must have gone to couples therapy to discuss this, but those were definitely my thoughts when I read the first letter. Not that your some slut-tramp, but the more nuanced question of “How do you decide in a relationship whose needs supercedes the others?” No comment there, that’s way too difficult to figure out so I’m glad the both of you worked it out.

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    Calliopedork December 5, 2011, 5:38 pm

    Im glad things are working okay currently and that you have found some peace with your relationship. Im sorry that you were hurt and I agree that some comments were harsh(including mine) I think in general the tone of the letter didnt show as fragile a state of mind as you were apparently in. we all tend to respond to the tone of the letter, and for the most part commentirs are not trying to hurt you.

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  • avatar

    LW December 5, 2011, 7:06 pm

    Whoa, LW here, I just want to be clear that nobody drove me to hospitalization but myself. Like someone else said, the comments mainly amplified my fear about coming out to my husband/friends/family. My sexuality was always something I struggled with and felt shame about. I was raised in a religious household and while I dont follow the same doctrines I was raised with, its hard not to let that shame surrounding sexuality to seep in. I was also sexually abused by family members from a very early age and thats why in my original letter I said I thought I was a lesbian for a time. I wasnt, clearly, it just took me a lot longer to trust men and be attracted to them sexually. Since I eventually did become attracted to men I hoped and hoped that my attraction to women would go away. In case you havent noticed it isnt widely accepted and I see how people who identify as lesbian or bisexual struggle with acceptance, especially from family. I actually still kinda wish it would go away, it would simplify so much for me and my family, but I know its even more wrong to wish you were something else. Just to clarify, I have been in nothing but monogamous relationships, but I never viewed them as life partners so it wasnt a problem to turn off a part of me I didnt want to admit to anyway. It really bothered me that it came up so strongly when my husband wanted to marry. I felt it was unfair to him and that I should defer to his sexuality since it was easier, that its what he would want. I thought that maybe it wasnt that important and I was freaking out about the commitment itself and making excuses. It was such a surprise to find out that he doesnt have the same hang ups about my sexuality as i do and in fact our fears and concerns were mostly the same. My therapist helped me work through my fears and come to the realization that it wasnt important in other relationships because the relationships themselves werent. That the reason it was coming up was because I recognized that I had found the person I wanted to be with for the rest of my life and it was time to be genuine. I never cheated on my husband and I definitely wasnt looking for validation to do that. I had been with him for 7 years for gods sake! If I wanted to cheat I wouldnt want or need permission from anybody because people who cheat generally dont! I shouldve also mentioned that there were a lot of supportive and understanding comments the first go round and I really appreciate them so much! Like I said, I was in a bad place about it and I did hyperfocus on the ones that called me a cheater and basically a bad mother, but they did not put me in the hospital. At that point I had a choice to stop keeping it inside, but I didnt and I own that. Also, it sounds worse than it was. I started feeling suicidal (it wasnt just the sexuality thing, I have other issues that contributed) and I was voluntarily hospitalized before anything happened. It never left the ideation stage and I was released after 3 days when I was stabilized. It was mainly a wake up call that I had some work to do. I really did, and continue to, feel that I was somehow taking away his right to his sexuality by asking for mine, thankfully he doesnt feel that way and is willing to work together to figure it out. I still havent done anything with a woman and,frankly, im scared to death of what might happen. I realized that my husbands feelings are my top priority in this and that we may try different things in the future, but it will always come down to him and us and what we have. BTW, yes I know we got married quickly, but you’ll have to talk to him about that! He asked me to marry him as soon as we talked through this and other future things and we were only engaged for a month before he rushed me down the aisle! Oh, and for the person that just called me a whiner, fuck you, its hard enough for people to reach out and ask for help, dont call them names too.

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      Christy December 5, 2011, 8:06 pm

      I think people are/were mostly upset about your lack of distinction between being bisexual and being non-monogamous. Bi people constantly have to fight the stereotype that they can’t be monogamous simply BECAUSE they are bisexual. And from what you wrote in, it seems that you are only helping to perpetuate that stereotype. (Don’t get me wrong. I’m a lesbian who likes ladies in flannel button downs, men’s jeans, and steel-toed boots. Sometimes it’s just who you are.) But the problem with perpetuating that stereotype is that this one is harmful for bi people. Same with the idea of bi people wanting threesomes. That just doesn’t create any good in the world. It appears to the commenters that you just took all the negative stereotypes about bi people and decided to apply them to yourself because you didn’t know any better.

      And I just want to say that I understand internalized homophobia/biphobia. I get it. It took me 22 years to come out. It’s a hard knock life out there. I certainly can’t speak to your abuse. But it can be tough for everyone. I’d encourage you to find out more about bisexuality. It might help you with coping mechanisms.

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        Painted_lady December 5, 2011, 8:27 pm

        VERY well put! I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was confusing me, but that explains it completely, and much better than I ever could have. They are two separate issues, it just seems that both bisexuality and non-monogamy both apply to the LW. Which is fine and completely acceptable, and she was just so confused that she couldn’t make the clear distinction.

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        savannah December 6, 2011, 9:51 am

        “But the problem with perpetuating that stereotype is that this one is harmful for bi people. Same with the idea of bi people wanting threesomes. That just doesn’t create any good in the world. It appears to the commenters that you just took all the negative stereotypes about bi people and decided to apply them to yourself because you didn’t know any better.”

        Wow-this is offensive. She is totally and completely responsible for cultivating peoples attitudes about all bisexuals with her own personal sexual and relationship preferences? You excuse your own stereotypical sexual preferences and in the same breath accuse her of being too naive to understand the the vast implications of hers on all bi people?
        Look, I know there is not a lot of love between bi’s and other queers but I think you should really reread what you wrote because a similar version of it is this: Hi black person. Please speak for all black people at all times and keep in mind your own personal behavior affects all black people at all time. If you do something bad, its going to hurt all of them. If you do something seen as stereotypically black, well thats not gonna crate any good in the world.

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        Painted_lady December 6, 2011, 12:08 pm

        That was actually the exact opposite of what I got – I got from Christy’s response that she wanted to make clear that the LW was aware that her experience was totally valid but didn’t speak for all bi people when she said that she couldn’t be monogamous in her own relationships. It would sort of be like all those people who take offense when women imply that they have a biological imperative to have babies. It’s totally valid for any woman who wants to, to have a baby, and it’s also valid not to have a baby. Those women who assume all women want babies don’t speak for me, and as much as I recognize their right to have one baby or three or treat their uterus like a clown car, I feel like I have the right and obligation to point out that I want zero babies and therefore the assumption woman=baby-haver, or in this case, bisexual=nonmonogamous, is faulty.

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        Christy December 6, 2011, 12:17 pm

        Painted_lady, you read me correctly.

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        savannah December 6, 2011, 12:30 pm

        yes, but the LW wasn’t trying to speak on behalf of all bi people-that was Christy’s projection.

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        Christy December 6, 2011, 12:50 pm

        savannah, you’re right, I’m totally projecting. You are correct in saying that. (I’m not being sarcastic, I agree with you.)

        I wasn’t trying to say that LW is speaking on behalf of all bi people, though. I was projecting that her thoughts and ideas about bisexuality come from stereotypes and prejudices, rather than thinking that they are intrinsic.

        So definitely projecting, but not exactly about what you’re describing.

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        Christy December 6, 2011, 12:14 pm

        I know I wasn’t 100% clear on what I said, so I’ll try to clarify. I’m having a hard time writing it even this time, so please let’s keep talking about this–I respect your point. Moreover, I see how what I wrote led you to your conclusions. So let me try again:

        I have no problem with LW wanting a threesome or wanting to be nonmonogamous. Your life, your choices. I think my frustration stemmed from the fact that the LW only thought of those two options for dealing with her bisexuality. She tapped into those harmful stereotypes rather than examining the issue more closely.

        I’m afraid I’m still having a hard time explaining it. To use your analogy about black people (which makes me hesitate just a bit, but I’ll give it a shot) it would be like someone wondering if they were black, realizing it, and then as a means of dealing with it and joining that community, becoming some sort of hood rat because that was their conception of how black people acted.

        Does that help to clarify my position? I know I’m not being 100% successful. I do appreciate the dialog, so please attack my weak points.

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        Christy December 6, 2011, 12:16 pm

        And I think that I misspoke when I mentioned “perpetuating stereotypes”. It’s not a problem to perpetuate a stereotype. I think my problem was with the LW seeming to use those stereotypes to form her entire strategy for dealing with her bisexuality.

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        savannah December 6, 2011, 12:46 pm

        here is where I think you’re having a hard time:
        1.”She tapped into those harmful stereotypes rather than examining the issue more closely.”
        2. “It’s not a problem to perpetuate a stereotype.”
        I dont think these two statements can stand together. Or rather your judgment about bi stereotypes is clouding your ability to give the LW some agency. You think her association with bi and wanting more than monogamy is false or somehow shallow and uneducated. What if those ‘harmful stereotypes’ is exactly how the LW truly wants to express her sexual and relationship preferences? What if, in fact, like many bi’s I know (but def not all) she wants poly and it is indeed part of how she sees her whole self as a bi? I think a part of your hesitation comes from the performance part of this, your belief that these stereotypes when talked about with regard to bi’s are harmful. To some, sure. But thats got a lot to do with the queer community and their unacceptance towards bi’s as much as it has to do with hetero-bi relations. I also think there is a separation between relationship preferences from sexual preferences but they are often convoluted and can be expressed in the same ways and explored together.

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        Christy December 6, 2011, 1:04 pm

        “You think her association with bi and wanting more than monogamy is false or somehow shallow and uneducated.”

        That is exactly what I am projecting about the LW, yes. It seemed to me that the LW was sort of stabbing in the dark about the whole issue and nonmonogamy was what she came up with. (That could be totally untrue. But that’s how I read it.)

        “What if those ‘harmful stereotypes’ is exactly how the LW truly wants to express her sexual and relationship preferences?”

        “What if, in fact, like many bi’s I know (but def not all) she wants poly and it is indeed part of how she sees her whole self as a bi?”

        Like I tried to say before, if it’s what she really wants, then I have no problem with it.

        “…your belief that these stereotypes when talked about with regard to bi’s are harmful. To some, sure. But thats got a lot to do with the queer community and their unacceptance towards bi’s as much as it has to do with hetero-bi relations.”

        That was my whole point in posting: biphobia. I think BGM’s post about his past bisexual partners really helps to illustrate reasons for biphobia in the queer community. I certainly acknowledge that biphobia in the queer community is a big problem.

        “I also think there is a separation between relationship preferences from sexual preferences but they are often convoluted and can be expressed in the same ways and explored together.”

        I think there’s also a larger societal biphobia, where non-queers conflate bisexuality and non-monogamy. And in my mind, that confusion hurts the LGBQ causes.

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        savannah December 6, 2011, 1:26 pm

        so lay it on me how ‘that confusion hurts the LGBQ causes’ relates to 1 person’s sexual and relationship preferences?

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        Christy December 6, 2011, 1:43 pm

        No, I meant that the societal confusion of bisexuality and non-monogamy hurts LGBQ causes.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark December 6, 2011, 1:56 pm

        I see where you are coming from, but I do think that there is a reason so many gays/lesbians do this. And it’s simply that many of us have happily dated secretly non-monogomous bisexuals and later been thrown over for a member of the opposite sex that they bedded while we were together… In both my cases, Mr HOT Bi-guy eventually came crawling back begging for a piece of me on the side all the while he enjoyed his picture perfect hetero wedded bliss illusion…

        The real irony is that, look, personally, I think monogamy is HIGHLY overrated. I don’t object to people who don’t want to be monogamous. What I object to is those who CLAIM they are only later prove to be anything but.

        Usually, I would admit that basing my entire thoughts of a group of people on my interactions with but two of them (however intimate) is hopelessly misguided. But, sadly, this has proven to be a running theme in the lives of many of my friends, too. And it seems to pop up monthly on Savage Love… If bisexuals truly are upset at being perceived this way, well, then I kindly suggest more of them stop acting this way…

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        Christy December 6, 2011, 3:08 pm

        Yes. And I want to emphasize your point that it’s the lying, not the non-monogamy that (many) people have trouble with.

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      Something More December 5, 2011, 9:42 pm

      “Oh, and for the person that just called me a whiner, fuck you, its hard enough for people to reach out and ask for help, dont call them names too.”

      Perfectly put.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom December 6, 2011, 10:16 am

      When I read this and all of the anguish that being bisexual has caused you because it’s not accepted I think about the Conservative Right. They claim that sexual orientation is a choice and in my mind, if it was a choice, then we would all be born bisexual. How else would it be a choice? I think the fact that we aren’t all bisexual proves that it isn’t a choice and if we were all bisexual you wouldn’t be in this situation explaining how you’re different.

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    Lamp December 5, 2011, 7:16 pm

    Yeah, I wish Wendy would address the harshness of some of the comments on this site. I am best friends with someone who wrote in recently (the “Anxious Bridesmaid”) and she was brought to tears by some of the comments she was reading. Whether or not she should have taken them that seriously aside, people need to lighten up. This is a blog about giving advice and helping people. Not everyone is like you, or thinks what you think, or needs to live their lives the way you do. Most people who comment here are very good about being supportive, but some aren’t.

    And I don’t think Wendy should go as far as to censor comments, but maybe some kind of discussion (or clarification of the purpose of comments?) might help. Meh.

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      Matcha December 5, 2011, 8:31 pm

      It wasn’t too long ago that we had that conversation.

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    Painted_lady December 5, 2011, 7:19 pm

    Hey, LW, I didn’t chime in on the original letter, partly because I think it was a busy day at school, and partly because I wasn’t entirely sure what you wanted. It’s still not 100% clear, and I’m sure that’s partly because I’m straight and monogamous and, well, a little boring in that respect. I’m sorry you were hurt – I’ve been on the receiving end of some nasty comments regarding a letter I wrote awhile back. My boyfriend and I had just gotten together and my mom sort of freaked on me because the plan was for him to move in with me in about a year and a huge part of the financial burden would be on me. I worded the question really poorly (it was more about how to deal with my mother the narcissist rather than the plans that wouldn’t fall into place for at least a year), and there were quite a few people who jumped on me. Even though I knew the situation was being misperceived, it was kind of hurtful to hear “Hey, desperate, that’s the dumbest idea EVER.” I was nowhere near in as fragile a state as you, and it still blew.

    Anyway, I finally worked up the courage to write in again about my roommate and Crazypants, her weirdo boyfriend, and everyone made me feel so supported and cared for. Thing is, everyone here has the capacity to be caring and insightful to total strangers – I’ve seen it. Everyone has the capacity to do more than shrug and say “Sorry, you got what you asked for, kid.” Instead of “not trying to hurt” someone, think about it more like you’re trying NOT to hurt someone, as in, you’re making an active choice. We are, generally speaking, a considerate bunch, so maybe certain buttons are being pushed with certain readers, which maybe says more about us than about them.

    I don’t know. I don’t mean to come across as reaming everyone. I know I’m not perfect by any stretch. It’s just, gah! We *are* better than the rare occasions when people get snide and smug. And we did with her.

    I’m happy you’re happier now, LW. Take care of you, above all. Your guy sounds awesome, and I wish you the best.

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