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I’m in my early 20s and met my boyfriend of three months on an online dating service. We fell in love within the first two weeks of our relationship and have recently started to discuss our respective pasts. Before we met in person, my boyfriend told me he believed he was bisexual but had never had any experiences with other men. At the time I told him that didn’t bother me at all, and it honestly didn’t. Then, after our first month of dating, he revealed to me that he had been to a gay bathhouse, but only once and just to see what it was like because he was curious. He mentioned that he had an encounter with a man flirting with him (while they were both naked in the pool), but when I asked if anything else happened he said no.
At the time, I didn’t react to this admission the way that I should have, which SHOULD have been in a caring, supportive way considering he was telling me something I could tell he hadn’t shared with anyone else. Instead, I was a little bit distant because I felt awkward about what he had said, and I know I made him feel bad about it. It really hurt me to hurt him, and I apologized profusely afterwards, telling him that I was just being stupid and he did forgive me.
Fast forward to about a week ago and my boyfriend told me, hesitantly, that there was more to the story. He had never revealed it before, but he went to the bathhouse on numerous occasions (at least five times) and had two separate sexual encounters with men. He described briefly what happened, and I was extremely overwhelmed. Despite wanting to be accepting, open, and totally fine with what he was telling me, there was just a part of me that didn’t know how to process what he said. Once again I was distant, and really hurt him with my behavior. I even told him that thinking about him with another man disgusted me.
Later that night we nearly broke up because of me; I told him that he deserved someone who could accept him completely. After a long conversation, I realized that I want to be that person more than anything because I really do love him. But, do you think it will be possible for me to fully accept what happened in that past, or does he really deserve someone who can accept him immediately? Is there some way for me to fully change the prejudices I might have, but don’t want? — In Love with a Bi-Man
What concerns me about your letter, ILWABM, isn’t so much that you’re in love with someone you cannot currently accept — we’ll get to that part in a minute — it’s that you seem so sure you’re to blame for whatever relationship issues you’ve had so far — that it’s your fault you broke up and that you didn’t have the kind of reaction to your boyfriend’s admission that you “should” have had. Yes, in a perfect world, you would have reacted compassionately and without judgment, but let’s not forget that your boyfriend lied you to. You were led to believe one thing — that while your boyfriend had bisexual thoughts, he had never acted on them — and then a bomb was dropped: contrary to his earlier story, you boyfriend had indeed had an “encounter” with a man at a gay bathhouse. And then a few weeks later: oh, oops, it seems he neglected to tell you that that single encounter was actually at least five trips to the gay bathhouse and at least two gay encounters with other patrons there. And you’re blaming yourself for reacting less than perfectly? Tell me, at one point was your boyfriend behaving with your best interest in mind? The part where in lied to you twice or the part where he led you to believe one thing for nearly three months before admitting the truth?
I don’t mean to imply your boyfriend is a terrible person here. Obviously, his sexuality is something he’s been grappling with and probably hasn’t fully come to accept himself. I do feel compassion for him and for people in his shoes, but I want to point out that you are not a bad person for believing his lies or for reacting to the truth in a less than compassionate way. Before you even met in person, your boyfriend told you pointblank that he “believed” he was bisexual but that he’d never had any sexual experiences with a man. His bisexuality must have been an important enough facet of his life to at least hint at the truth. But why not tell you the whole truth? Because he didn’t want to scare you off. He knew — rightly so — that his sexuality was something not everyone would be able to accept and that it may cost him a date with you, someone whom he’d begun clicking with online, so he decided to only hint at the truth, get a sense of how open-minded you were by your reaction and then perhaps tell you the full truth later on, after you were invested and had built up some trust between the two of you.
In that sense, he was testing you — seeing how open and trustworthy you were. It’s ironic, isn’t it? That he used a lie to test your trustworthiness? It’s also ironic that it’s your reaction to a lie that has you questioning how good of a girlfriend you are while not even seeming to question his intentions or how good of a boyfriend he’s been to you. Someone who was looking out for your best interests may have thought to tell you information about himself that could greatly change your impression of him and your investment in a future together, say, before you fell in love.
But now you have fallen in love and you know the truth about him and you’re left wondering if you can accept his past. I can’t answer that though, of course. Only you can. What I can say is that it is far, far more important that you look ahead rather than behind. Can you trust this man? Can you trust him with your heart? Can you believe he will be truthful with you and faithful to you and put you first? Do you believe he has fully accepted his bisexuality (which surely involved telling you the truth about his past)? And if not, what do you think he may need to do to get there? Because as important as it is for you to accept him, it’s much more important that he accepts himself. If he doesn’t, you have big problems on your hands. If he closets a part of himself because he’s ashamed, how will that closeted self affect your relationship? (Because it will).
Before you can decide whether you’re in this — really in this — you need to have some more long conversations with your boyfriend and get some clarity. You need to know for yourself what — if any — role his bisexuality may play in your relationship. It may be that he simply doesn’t know yet, in which case, you have to decide for yourself how willing you are to travel into the unknown with him (keeping in mind that all relationships involve some element of unknown). And if he’s able to tell you clearly that his bisexuality will not affect your relationship any more than his raging heterosexuality would, you have to decide if you believe him. If you don’t, then there probably isn’t any point to keep seeing each other, because what do you have if you don’t have trust and acceptance?
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected] and be sure to follow me on Twitter.
Lydia July 5, 2011, 7:09 am
Great advice, Wendy. The boyfriend’s lying really stood out to me in this letter. Saying that thinking about him with another man probably wasn’t a very good move, but it’s a totally understandable reaction in response to him keeping parts of the story from her.
BoomChakaLaka July 5, 2011, 8:02 am
Same here, the lying is what got me. I would first approach your boyfriend and ask him to come clean about everything. If you guys are in love, there should be trust as well and if you are going to divulge everything about your past, it is only right that he should do the same.
I understand, though, why he lied: he is clearly grappling and most likely coming to terms with his bisexuality. I can’t comment on how to be supportive of him in that sense. What I do know is that the first step that needs to be taken is that you need to know everything: no more lies/partial truths. Like Wendy said, this may happen over a series of conversations, and I would implore you to be patient. But you must know the truth in order for you to decide how your relationship will be with him going forward.
lexie.b July 5, 2011, 8:59 am
Don’t feel bad about the way you re-acted, if it had been with women instead of men, no one would expect you to re-act “perfectly”.
cdobbs July 5, 2011, 9:06 am
what? this guy is a liar and a cheater. does it make a difference that it is with a man instead of a woman? why do people put up with this crap and then apologize because they aren’t understanding? i don’t buy that he is bisexual either, ever heard the term “beard”!
MissDre July 5, 2011, 9:17 am
Where did it say he cheated? He didn’t. He just admitted that he’s been with men before he met her.
Christy July 5, 2011, 9:30 am
People like you are the reason that bisexual people are afraid to admit that they are bi. Bisexuality exists, much to the disbelief of many straight people and gay people. Biphobia such as yours is pervasive, leading bisexual people to stay in the closet, much like the LW’s bf. He lied to the LW, but he lied out of fear of her reaction. He never cheated on her. Contrary to popular opinion, bisexual people can remain monogamous just like straight people or gay people.
ted July 5, 2011, 10:10 am
I was waiting for someone like you to jump in on their moral high horse, beating their chest, and telling the world about how virtuous and morally superior they are.
Put a sock in it, please.
allie July 12, 2011, 4:00 pm
i don’t think she is on a moral high horse she’ just sticking up for who she is, why don’t you put a sock in it and stop being ignorant!
bittergaymark July 5, 2011, 11:43 am
Oh, Christy, I suppose they can. But my own experience in LA (and, much more interestingly, at home in the midwest) with married bi-guys proves that somehow, some way, (yes, they are constantly trying to pick me up) and all too often, many of them simply are not.
beans629 July 5, 2011, 1:53 pm
Contrary to popular opinion, bisexual people can remain monogamous
Well doesn’t that mean they have to chose if they are gay or straight? Which then kind of nullifies your argument.
Christy July 5, 2011, 2:03 pm
No, monogamy doesn’t mean choosing a sexual preference, it means choosing a person. Think about it: when you’re a straight man and you’re in a relationship with a woman, you’re still attracted to other women, even if you wouldn’t act on it. Same with a gay couple: still attracted to others of the same sex, just not acting on those attractions because you’re in a monogamous relationship. Bisexual people, when in a relationship, maintain their capacity for attraction to people of both genders (because no one is attracted to EVERYONE of a particular gender). They just don’t act on their attraction to people of both genders because they’re in a monogamous relationship. Make sense?
fast eddie July 5, 2011, 4:32 pm
You make a very good point Christy. I’m straight and faithfully married but attracted to other women. I’ve never acted on that but my point is that attraction isn’t confined to any orientation. I’m repulsed by anyone spouting platitudes to justify their phobic reaction to LGBT people or those of a different race. That’s a major character flaw and I terminate contact with people that possess it.
Temperance July 5, 2011, 10:18 am
My fiance is bisexual. I promise you that I am not his “beard”. The reason that her bf is probably so afraid to say anything about his past up front is because of stigma from people who say things like you just did.
blueeyes July 5, 2011, 9:17 am
Run, just run as fast as you can. This guy is grooming her…feeding her bits of information so that she won’t leave and he will continue his behavior. He’s probably doing it right now. This is risky behavior, laden with health risks for this poor woman. RUN!
MissDre July 5, 2011, 10:29 am
Why do you assume there are health risks? How do you know he didn’t use protection? Would you automatically assume there are health risks if he’d admitted to fooling around 4 or 5 times with another girl? This comment is just all around ignorant.
Christy July 5, 2011, 10:18 pm
Bathhouse sex (presumably anonymous) with different people would have more risks than fooling around 4 or 5 times with one girl. Just like visiting prostitutes or meeting random people on craigslist is risky. Condoms don’t protect against everything!
LTC039 July 5, 2011, 10:45 am
I think anytime you find out your partner has had multiple sex partners, you can assume there **may** be a health risk. I guess some people still believe that STD’s are only transmitted b/w men. Idk is that’s what blueeyes meant, but I can see why you’d think that.
MissDre July 5, 2011, 11:09 am
It’s always important to be conscious of safe-sex practices no matter what your orientation. Use condoms, get tested. But I don’t think anybody would be saying “run as fast as you can” if the guy said he’d had two sexual encounters with other women before he met the LW.
LTC039 July 5, 2011, 11:13 am
I totally get where you’re coming from, you may be right. But I disagree, if someone finds out their bf/gf had two unprotected sexual encounters, with whatever sex, I would advise them to get themselves checked out. But, yes, “run as fast as you can” seems on the judgemental side. I’m just not sure if blueeyes meant it that way.
MissDre July 5, 2011, 11:23 am
Did I miss something in this letter? It said he had two sexual encounters with men. It never said the encounters were unprotected. Why are people assuming that? THAT is the part I find judgmental.
LW, people are right though, to suggest you talk to your boyfriend about sexual health. I don’t know if he had unprotected sex or if he used a condom, and that’s a valid and important question to ask of anyone whether they had sex with a man or a woman.
LTC039 July 5, 2011, 11:43 am
That’s exactly what I said. But I guess when you think “gay bathhouse”, it’s the same as “swinger’s club,” so if you’re not familiar with either of those you assume everyone just having sex with each other & condoms aren’t even thought of.
I just asked my co-worker (he’s a gay man) if he’s ever been to a gay bathhouse, he said yes, many times. I asked him if men use protection there all the time, he says “you hope so.” Like I said, I understand where you’re coming from, the assumption was what was offensive to you, but I would question that too & we don’t know if the comment was meant in that way.
missarissa July 5, 2011, 4:33 pm
I think the sentiment is valid, and i don’t think it was just a remnant of homophobia. What i think Blueeyes meant was that the slow but steady reveal of information, just enough to shake, but not lose, the LW, will inevitably lead to a “when I said I had 2 experiences before we got together, I really mean 3 per week in the 10 years we’ve been married. And while the first time, I said frequented a reputable bathhouse known for clientele of a specific sexual orientation, I now mean bathrooms in airports and internet posting sites. And because I was so ashamed and confused, they were with people I’ve never met before, and will never see again. I’m sorry, but why aren’t you ok with this?”
silver_dragon_girl July 5, 2011, 9:23 am
Ok, I agree with everybody who’s saying that the guy is a giant liar and you shouldn’t be blaming yourself for this.
But what I really think your’e struggling with is accepting his sexuality. I get that- no matter how open and accepting you are of other people, sometimes things are a little different when you’re dating someone. I started talking to a guy online a few years ago, and we hit it off fairly well. Then he told me he was bisexual, and I instantly lost all my attraction to him. I feel bad about it to this day, because I’m a super-left-wing “everybody is 110% equal” type of person, but I couldn’t help it.
However, you say you love this guy, you say you WANT to be okay with the stuff he’s slowly revealing to you, so I think you should sit him down and have a “rip off the band-aid” talk. Ask him to tell you everything, leaving nothing out, and be completely honest with you. Hopefully he’ll do it, and once you have ALL the information, maybe you can make a decision about what to do.
Hints of Disaster February 7, 2019, 8:30 pm
The slow reveal of the whole truth will, over time, destroy your ability to trust. I know because I have been married to a man who did not start telling me bits of the truth until we had been married for 10 years. Then, little partial bits began to be revealed. It took me 15 years to fully discover that the man I loved was having unprotected sex with a variety of men and women on a regular basis. I made this discovery only when I contracted a STD (I had always been faithful). After that the floodgates opened and I learned that most of my life had been a lie. My husband loved me for what I provided socially (marriage, family, stability) but had little passion for me. His passion was those who were also bisexual and unconventional. He, too, was devastated to finally have to be truthful because I could not come to terms with the years of calculated lies and neither could our children and extended families. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the bisexuality itself that caused the problem, it was the lying about it. The length and depth of the lies was astounding. So, I concur with the respondent who says to RUN. There are lots of people out there who will be truthful; RUN FAST from anyone who isn’t.
caitie_didn't July 5, 2011, 9:29 am
Anyone ever heard the phrase “Bi now, gay later”? Now, before I get a million little purple thumbs, I know bisexuality is an actual thing and that there are truly bisexual people out there who face discrimination from both straight and gay people. But I know several gay guys (including a very good friend) who definitely stopped in Bi-ville before getting back on the train to Gaytown. Obviously, I don’t know the LW’s boyfriend’s situation but he’s already lied to the LW about his same-sex encounters- is it possible that he’s feeling pressured to be still attracted to women when he actually isn’t at all? He might be legitimately Bi, which the LW can either accept or not (but the lying needs to be addressed) or he could still be trying to figure himself out. Which is normal for someone in their early 20’s.
honeybeenicki July 5, 2011, 10:10 am
I have had a few friends like this as well. I think it was probably their way of coming to terms with their own sexuality. Society tends to tell people they should be a certain way and be attracted to certain people, so some gay men (and women) may first come to terms with an attraction to both sexes before fully embracing that they are in fact homosexual. A very good friend of mine struggled with his sexuality throughout high school. At the beginning of high school, he considered himself a “player” – jumping from girl to girl. By the end of high school, he was exploring his sexuality in the terms of other men. Today, he is gay and very proud of it. He has explained to me before that it was easier for him to convince himself that he was bisexual because it “wasn’t as bad” but ultimately was able to come clean with himself.
However, I absolutely don’t think we can automatically assume every bisexual man is actually gay (including LW’s boyfriend). I hope both the LW and the boyfriend luck with this. Struggling with your sexuality can be very hard and I hope they both seek some kind of help. I know there are support groups for people dealing with their own, but there are probably support groups for people dating someone who is struggling. Check out your local LGBTQ groups.
Mr44 July 6, 2011, 8:29 am
Of course we’ll almost NEVER hear about a bi-guy that end up choosing to marry a girl. Based on all the comments in this post, do you think that guy is ever going to admit it? Even if he is 100% honest with his female partner, do you think she’ll tell ANY of her friends based on the comments above and below?
Even though it’s not publically disclosed, I promise you it happens. We only hear about guys that choose to be with other guys because it’s (obviosuly) socially acceptable within the community.
Mr44 July 6, 2011, 8:30 am
ps….In the last sentence I meant socially acceptable within the gay community itself. Society at large is clearly still catching up.
Mainer July 5, 2011, 9:32 am
I don’t think either party is to blame here. Being able to accept a person’s past is one element of many that makes a couple right for each other. If you can’t accept his past, there is nothing wrong with that, but it just means you two probably aren’t going to make a good couple. So you’re reaction was not wrong, it was just genuine. You feel guilty about it because we are told we MUST accept anyone who is different or else we’re insensitive. But the matter of the fact is that you are not shunning him as a person for his past, you just have a difficult time accepting those actions in a partner.
As far as his lying, that was to be expected and I’m not sure we should be placing so much blame on him. Struggling with one’s sexuality is an extremely difficult thing to tackle. As far as we have come as a culture in accepting homosexuality and bisexuality, we still have a ways to go and there are still a large number of people who assign great deals of blame and guilt and disgust on these people. And you expect this guy to come out and share every single detail of his actions that has most likely caused him a great deal of confusion and possibly – due to societal standards – shame after merely two weeks? For him to share all of this with you – and only you – after only three months is pretty big itself. Everyone has parts of their life – be it experiences, actions, beliefs, etc – that we hold close to us. We don’t throw out all our deepest secrets as if every person we date or encounter is entitled to them. No one is entitled to that information unless they earn the trust and respect of the person willing to share. The fact that he hesitated to share every little detail on the first conversation about this matter is nothing out of the ordinary. Every one of us – be it our struggle with a mental illness, an abused past, or past sexual encounters – would do the same.
ReginaRey July 5, 2011, 11:01 am
I very much agree with everything you said, especially about us not being too harsh on him for lying because of the difficulty with him struggling with his sexuality. However, I think he made a huge mistake in declaring his love for the LW after only two weeks, jumping headfirst into a serious relationship, and continuing to lie to her. After declaring your love for someone, I think you have a responsibility to be totally honest with them. I think he probably should have slowed WAY DOWN on beginning a serious relationship with her, and let the truth of his sexuality come out before jumping head first.
Mainer July 5, 2011, 11:21 am
I agree, I’m just suspect of the “We fell in love within the first two weeks of our relationship.” Did she tell him she loved him after two weeks and he just went with it, or did he proclaim his love to her after two weeks? It seems (complete speculation) that he was afraid of losing her and therefore told her what she wanted to hear – “no I didn’t have sex with a guy,” “I love you too,” etc. Is that wrong? Of course. But they’re in their young 20s, not exactly high on the totem pole of rational thought. I think it’s a story of two young people eager to be in love, feel they truly are, but he was not quite comfortable enough to really share his deepest feelings right away. He got there eventually, and the semantics of how a relationship should work and being in love (e.g. I love you first then share feelings, or share feelings then proclaim love, or do them at the same time, etc) are really up for debate and will vary between every person. Having the benefit of experience with relationships (such as a good amount of people here) certainly makes it easier, but I don’t think they had that going for them.
ReginaRey July 5, 2011, 12:00 pm
Oh I agree totally. I’m quite suspect (as you’ll see above) of the “we fell in love within the first two weeks” claim. You’re right, there probably wasn’t much rational thought or experience to add weight to this situation, and the intensity of the new “love” only complicates it more.
bittergaymark July 5, 2011, 12:10 pm
A “questioning” bi guy who is so quick and so frantic to fall in love with a woman is a big red flag to me. Why? I dunno. Could it be that he is running from his sexuality? Could it be that he thinks that if he gets married all this bi business will just go away? Could it be that he is completely in denial about his sexuality?
Lucy July 5, 2011, 7:16 pm
I can only speak from personal experience, but I think bgm is on the right track here. I had a nearly identical experience with a guy in his early 20s – immediate declaration of love, a drip-drip-drip of admissions of “bisexual” desires… and then finally an admission that he was gay. People in the middle of this process often don’t know who they are, and are lying to themselves as much or more than they’re lying to their partners. I think the LW should back way off and let this guy figure himself out. Anyone who won’t or can’t be honest with their partner about their sexuality isn’t ready for a relationship.
SpaceySteph July 5, 2011, 1:23 pm
“As far as his lying, that was to be expected and I’m not sure we should be placing so much blame on him.”
Maybe… but there’s a difference between lies of omission and outright lies. He told her directly that he’d never had sexual experience with a man, then fast forward 3 months and the story is actually MULTIPLE male sexual encounters.
It would have been different if he had said “I am bisexual and have had a few sexual partners. I don’t feel comfortable elaborating,” and then later when he did feel comfortable telling the whole bathhouse tail.
I find outright lying troubling, no matter what the lie is about. It takes a certain premeditation to come up with a different story vs. clamming up and refusing to elaborate.
Budjer July 5, 2011, 9:35 am
Regardless of whether or not you can accept his bisexuality and forgive his lying have you thought about the fact that this guy may also want / find he needs to interact with men physically? This is definitely something you need to discuss. Based on your letter I can confidently say that you would not be ok with that.
ReginaRey July 5, 2011, 8:39 am
What worries me most about this letter was, as Wendy alluded to, how willing the LW was to place the blame on herself. Instead of being concerned that she’s with someone who has repeatedly ommitted and lied to her, she’s concerned about how she’s making him feel.
Personally, LW, I think you jumped into this relationship wayyyy too fast. Two weeks is enough to fall for someone in a giddy, head-over-your-heels, infatuation kind of way, but it’s not enough to fall in love with someone deeply and truly – the kind of love that only grows after you’ve gotten to know someone for an extended period of time. Three months, the time you’ve been together, probably isn’t enough time to REALLY know someone and to love all of them – their habits, their quirks, their faults.
I’m pretty confident of this because he lied to you multiple times and you weren’t able to discern that he was hiding something from you. Perhaps he’s simply really good at hiding things, but I’m more willing to bet that you jumped in so quickly that you were blinded to some pretty major red flags. This is why it’s so crucial to REALLY know someone before you get in too deep.
But, instead of telling you what you should have done, which is now water under the bridge, I think you need to concentrate on what you’ll do from here. His lying is HIS fault. Maybe you could have picked up on it, maybe not. But you cannot blame yourself for what he ommitted. The bottom line is: Can you have a secure, trusting, healthy relationship with a man who is attracted to other men? Some women would be able to do this, some wouldn’t. Neither option is wrong, but there is a RIGHT choice for you. If you feel that you will always be weirded out, disgusted, fearful that he’ll stray – LEAVE THIS RELATIONSHIP. You cannot have a healthy relationship with anyone if you’re afraid that one day he’ll stray from you – for a man or a woman.
SpaceySteph July 5, 2011, 10:33 am
I agree with you mostly, but I think it IS possible to fall in love quickly under certain circumstances. I knew I loved my boyfriend only a few weeks into our relationship (though I waited another month to tell him that). We had been casual friends first, playing on a coed softball team for almost 2 years… but I can see the same kind of situation happening when you meet online. You know alot more about the person than you would on a normal first date; sometimes it feels like the only thing you don’t know by the time you get to the first date is whether there will be chemistry in person as well as online. If you then meet and there is that physical attraction, things can progress quickly to the love stage.
Now, I do agree that you can’t bet the farm on that initial infatuation/love, in case it doesn’t hold up (or someone is a LIAR!), but I do think its possible to fall in love fast.
ReginaRey July 5, 2011, 10:55 am
Oh I agree that it’s possible, particularly if you’ve known someone for an extended period of time BEFORE the start of a romantic relationship, like you and your boyfriend, but not probable that it’s 100% deep, true, genuine and lasting. I tend to think that when people declare love after only a week or two, they really really WANT to be in love…and that kind of intensity can lead to blocking out important things that you should be learning and taking note of.
airivera July 5, 2011, 1:47 pm
I think it’s kind of judgmental to assign a designated time frame to ‘true love’. Love is a chemical reaction in the brain and we all have different brains with varying chemical levels and we all experience emotions differently. Who is to say that the ‘purest’ forms of love manifest with the most time? It’s important to take in account how we are all different so we all experience love differently.
But great advice ReginaRay.
Kate September 3, 2011, 8:39 pm
Lust is a chemical reaction in the brain. A chemical reaction has a finite “reaction time.” Love is for the long haul. Love comes from knowing someone, working through issues and compromise which are most certainly NOT strictly neurological functions. You can love someone immediately, but thinking you’re IN LOVE with someone so quickly is naive. There’s no time frame for love, but how can you be IN LOVE with someone when you know next to nothing about them? Like Chris Rock says, at first you’re meeting the other person’s “representative.” It’s not real until you know the ugly parts of the person, the parts you love them IN SPITE OF. Two weeks in is NOT time enough to know what you need to.
LTC039 July 5, 2011, 8:53 am
The real issue here is that your boyfriend’s a liar & about something you’re clearly not ok with. MOA
utopiaballroom July 5, 2011, 9:55 am
I definitely agree with Wendy and the previous commenters.
One more consideration:
LW seems to be disgusted by/dwelling on imagining her boyfriend’s sexual encounters with men. I think what’s important to gain perspective on here is that ANY adult relationship comes with a bundle of baggage. If boyfriend had described previous sexual encounters with WOMEN, I think there would be similar discomfort. Basically, we need to acknowledge that, yes, our partners have performed sexual acts with other people before us, but what matters is they are with us now, and we will just drive ourselves crazy if we continue to dwell on those past sexual encounters (that got a little weird when I kept up with the plural first-person voice there). I met my current boyfriend through his ex-girlfriend, and yeah, if I start to really think about the two of them together, I get pretty messed up.
As Wendy put so concisely, the LW (and everyone in an adult relationship) should focus on the present/future, rather than obsessing about the past. Of course, since boyfriend LIED to LW (in the present…about the past), that’s another thing to consider.
Just put up that big STOP sign in your head when you start to imagine/fantasize about your boyfriend with other men*.
*Unless you’re into that *cough*
utopiaballroom July 5, 2011, 10:03 am
To clarify, I am NOT saying that a partner’s past/sexual history doesn’t matter. It’s a personal decision whether you can deal with that stuff. And of course, knowing about our partner’s past (and how they tell/refrain from telling us that stuff) can give us a lot of information about whether that person is compatible. What I’m saying is that whether your boyfriend got a handjob at the movie theater when he was a teenager, slept with your ex-boyfriend’s prettier friend with better teeth, or was gang-banged by circus acrobats, thinking about it obsessively is unhealthy.
Fairhaired Child July 6, 2011, 12:27 am
I totally agree with this. My boyfriend is friends with many of the same people he’s known since middle school (he’s 25 now) and they’ve all dated at least one other person in the group, or dated an ex of a person in their large group (there’s like 20 of them that always hang out). Its really weird to think of and when I first started hanging out with them I had a really hard time being 1) the new person added to the group and noticing that there was def. some tension between old flames and 2) being friendly with the girls in the group because all I could think of was “Have you kissed my boyfriend.. what else have you done? I already know that so and so dated him and I’m avoiding her like crazy..”
I’ve eased up a little on the thoughts of all the factors of dating in that group. But I totally agree that hearing ANY details of a past sexual encounter (same gender or not) does not really sit well with most people and can drive them crazy and they can be disgusted by that (either by the act or by the fact they’ve been given too much details). I’d rather just be left in the dark than hear “oh yeah well I totally boned that girl backwards cowgirl style on the halloween night and she was wearing this sluttastic outfit which totally showed off all her lady bits and man did she get wet” (fake story btw)- i’d be disgusted just becuase I dont think sharing that much detail is necessary. Just saying “we had an encounter” is enough for me thank you.
fast eddie July 5, 2011, 9:03 am
From my heterosexual perspective I can easily understand his reluctance to disclose his attraction and encounters to her early on. I think she’s being idealistic and naive thus putting too much weight on what he told her while they were discovering each other. LGBT people can’t change their attraction or how others react to them. It seems that this guy wants to have a relationship to the LW and is afraid that her reaction to his sexual history will result in rejection. Neither of them are experienced enough to be completely accepting and supportive to the each other. He’s being guarded and she’s not as open minded as might be. Both of them have an opportunity to learn from this experience.
allie July 12, 2011, 3:58 pm
agreed! i’m bisexual, and i’m afraid to tell people about that mainly because they think i can’t commit! i am very monogamous, i know men who are bi who are monogamous. but when ever they tell a woman, yeah, slept with other dudes, the women FREAK OUT! instead of listening. i do agree with Wendy, the LW needs to understand what he wants, and try to believe him when he says a full relationship with her, but if she can’t then they both deserve better!
Temperance July 5, 2011, 10:20 am
I think that is sucks that her bf is lying, but I think it’s more from a place of really wanting to be with her and not wanting her to run once she finds out that he has been with men. It’s hard to be a bi dude, because everyone assumes that once he is with a man, he’ll never go back.
Jubietta July 5, 2011, 10:45 am
I think that if you come at the letter from a strength-based attitude this situation looks like a non-issue. We need to give the LW and her guy huge kudos for being self-aware enough in their early 20s(!) to be as far as they each are in the given situation independently and with each other. The LW has two major conflicting emotions and is looking for a way to be accountable and get what she wants and needs instead of just blindly cutting her losses and bolting–wonderful! The BF is dealing with a basic self-identity situation that’s still not fully clear to him but he’s sharing it with the LW as best he can. I’ll bet that with the communication skills, compassion, and self-awareness they’ve already exhibited and some time, they’ll be able to find and define the relationship they need.
Two thoughts that might help going forward.
Try not to assign different values to same-gender intimacy as to cross-gender intimacy. Define the line at which you’ll hold certain behaviors only for the relationship between the two of you and keep it. If hugging someone else is okay, then it’s okay across the board. If getting naked with someone else, say at a bath, is not okay…then it’s not okay with anyone else, anywhere, regardless of what others in the immediate peer group feel is okay. Both partners have to know the line and freely choose to hold to the line as a matter of respect.
When coming to grips with the disgust portion of things, try to silence outside voices. Sex is an under-educated and highly volatile topic for most folks in our culture. Mainstream culture teaches us behavior patterns that help us to get along and belong, but even if you accept that there is an absolute “right way to behave” in any situation, that definition changes across cultures. Maybe a chance to look at the BF’s behavior through another cultural lens would break down some of the LW’s feelings of taboo so that she can isolate the specific elements that cause her dismay. Consider Sushi, for example. For a lot of folks, eating Sushi seems disgusting, but for millions of others it’s a staple or even a treat. It’s okay to not like sushi, but for your own sake, figure out what’s offensive about it (the brininess of the seafood, the texture of the wrap, the fear of eating uncooked protien) and own it for yourself without projecting it on to anyone else.
beans629 July 5, 2011, 10:58 am
I would just like to point out…that the boyfriend had a ‘few’ sexual encounters in a bathhouse.
Holy crap, if UNPROTECTED sex with random strangers doesn’t send up a red flag then I’m not sure you will take the advice here seriously and to heart.
Even if you could get past the lies and your feelings about his bi-sexuality, can you (or should you) get past the fact that he is willing to put your health at risk? Honestly, if he is sneaking around having unprotected sex with strangers when he’s single what do you think is going to happen when he starts feeling trapped by the boundaries of your heterosexual relationship? Can anyone here say ‘on the down low’?
Seriously, I will say it if no one has already…MOA. Even though, you love him and click with him, he is NOT ready for a relationship because he is still struggling with HIS sexuality. He has a LOT to work through that does not have anything to do with you so don’t take it personally. If you continue forward in this ‘relationship’, he is going to string you along (emotionally and physically) until he decides to be gay or you find yourself in a relationship where he is engaging in sexual activity outside of the relationship with or without your approval.
MissDre July 5, 2011, 11:19 am
I just don’t understand where all this “health-risk” freak out is coming from. How do you know it was unprotected sex? Where the hell in the letter did it say he admitted to doing it without a condom? Why do you assume that?
If a guy had a one night stand with a girl from a bar (before he even met his current gf!), would everyone all of a sudden assume that because she was a stranger, it must have been unsafe sex and he MUST be ridden with disease?
Tell the girl to go get tested with her boyfriend, tell her to use a condom, tell her to think about how SHE feels about her boyfriend’s sexual history, it’s fine to caution her against getting involved with someone who is still trying to figure himself out, but don’t automatically assume that the guy had unprotected sex and tell her to run away.
Nothing in this letter suggests he’s a shady sex freak or a that he’s bound to be a cheater. It’s unfair to judge someone you don’t even know.
beans629 July 5, 2011, 11:37 am
It didn’t say that he specifically had unprotected sex…it was alluded to IMO. When I read the letter, it stated that he went to the bath house to ‘see what it was like’. In that case he either took condoms with him or he didn’t.
So if he went and didn’t take condoms and then engaged in sex…it was unprotected and with random strangers. It doesn’t matter if it was with a man or a woman.
If he took the condoms and engaged in sex…then it’s kind of obvious he has pretty much made a decision about what was going to happen at the bath house.
There are NO coincidences in having sex.
It’s like when you go out with someone…YOU know if you are going to have sex with them or not. If not, then you don’t EVEN think about having protection because you know that nothing is going to happen with them. But if you think something is going to happen, then you bring the protection ‘just in case’.
Like I said…there are NO coincidences in having sex.
The issue here (for me) is not whether he is gay, straight, or bi but that he is engaging in risky sexual behavior with strangers that in turn puts her health at risk. If he is doing it when he has the leeway (i.e. he’s single) and no one cares then what happens when he wants to engage in bi activity within the confines of their relationship?
beans629 July 5, 2011, 11:46 am
If you didn’t like/understand the way I said it…check out Bittergaymark’s comment below. He has a different perspective on the situation but I think we are saying the same thing in a different way.
Calliopedork July 5, 2011, 11:51 am
I think its because most people associate bathhouses with romanesque orgies and unprotected sex. I dont think people mean that because.he had sex with a man its a health risk, but because he did it in a bath house
bittergaymark July 5, 2011, 11:57 am
Having only visited a bathhouse once… I will say that I specifically did NOT have sex their simply because looking around I was sad to see that it wasn’t the Bastion Of Safe Sex I was hoping it would be…
bittergaymark July 5, 2011, 11:58 am
Their = there. Dammit. Why do I type so fast! 😉
SGMcG July 5, 2011, 1:52 pm
You went to the Russian/Turkish Bathhouse in NYC didn’t you?
bittergaymark July 5, 2011, 1:57 pm
I wish. Sadly, it was decidedly LESS glamorous. It was the HOLLYWOOD SPA in North Hollywood, California. And it was…uh, it just wasn’t my scene. I went with a friend on a lark. He drove. We ventured in. He played. I fled. Meaning I was left waiting in the parking lot for well over two hours. Oh, and just to clarify, this was SO NOT a guy I was interested in. He really was just a platonic gay dude.
SGMcG July 5, 2011, 4:51 pm
The Russian/Turkish Bathhouse in NYC is not all that glamorous either. Some of the patrons engage in playtime. Others are just truly in it for the steam.
SGMcG July 5, 2011, 11:23 am
Nowhere in the letter does it say that her boyfriend is currently going to bathhouses having unprotected sex NOW. It sounds like the boyfriend is not struggling with his sexual identity – since he labeled himself as bisexual. The LW probably confused his sexual identity with sexual proclivity and has fears that he’s going to cheat because she doesn’t have a penis. They’re relationship is so young, I don’t think they’ve even had that conversation yet on what they expect from one another. I don’t think what the boyfriend did IN HIS PAST is immediately MOA-worthy, but how it influences the present and their relationship together is. Both of them NEED to have that conversation of what they expect with one another.
MissDre July 5, 2011, 11:26 am
beans629 July 5, 2011, 12:07 pm
I’m going to have to disagree with you on this…
If the boyfriend was not struggling with his sexuality, wouldn’t he just have told her upfront when they first starting getting serious or better yet included that in his profile (not sure what site they used)? I’ve seen many profiles where people post…I like brunettes, active people, or certain ethnics or religions. So I would think if he wanted someone who could understand his bi-sexuality he would have put that out in the universe…upfront with absolutely no problems.
I get that everyone has a past with some skeletons (myself included) but the reality of this particular situation is he does NOT know who he is and what he wants which is fine. Hell, no one’s knocking him for that but LW has to be honest with herself about how she’s going to feel when he finally figures out what he wants in a relationship?
What if it takes him several more years to figure that out should she wait? What if he decides he wants to be gay, don’t you think she’s going to be pissed about that? What if he decides that he wants to be bi, you think LW is going to be cool with that?
Just sayin…she doesn’t have to tell him to F* off but she has to be realistic about what kind of relationship they can have in the long term. It might be that she becomes his most supportive FRIEND.
MissDre July 5, 2011, 12:24 pm
This I agree with.
I don’t think the issue is so much that he lied, or that he’s been with men, the issue is that he doesn’t yet know who he is/what he wants. In order to have a successful relationship, you need to be comfortable with who you are and what you want, first.
SGMcG July 5, 2011, 12:40 pm
I think we’re both in agreement that the LW ultimately has to comes to terms with what she wants from the relationship, if she wants it at all. Whether or not the boyfriend is secure with his label of bisexuality or not is probably something that’s up for huge debate – and we probably don’t have enough information to come to a conclusion about it from the LW’s letter alone. I will agree with you also that health tests at this point should be administered, yet not because the boyfriend went to a bathhouse and it is highly probably that unprotected sex may have been involved. Rather, she should get tested, because she is sexually active – period.
beans629 July 5, 2011, 12:57 pm
‘They’re relationship is so young, I don’t think they’ve even had that conversation yet on what they expect from one another.’
I’m kind of wondering when is the right time in a relationship to say…’I don’t want you to have sex with other men’? *shrug*
It seems to me if you can consider yourself in ‘love’ then you should be able to talk openly and honestly about the goals and direction of your relationship and there’s no such thing as the ‘relationship is so young’ or ‘we’re not ready to talk about that yet’.
Hey, maybe it’s just me because I’m so over the idea that real love is rainbows, kittens, unicorns and being saved from the big bad wolf. Real lasting love is hard work and not for the faint of heart.
honeybeenicki July 5, 2011, 2:08 pm
I’m a little confused about this statement:
he is going to string you along (emotionally and physically) until he decides to be gay or you find yourself in a relationship where he is engaging in sexual activity outside of the relationship with or without your approval.
Why are those the only two options? You didn’t include the possibility of a healthy, monogamous relationship.
bittergaymark July 5, 2011, 2:14 pm
She also didn’t include the possibility that Michael Jackson will miraculously rise from the dead to perform THRILLER at their wedding…
honeybeenicki July 5, 2011, 2:31 pm
Well now that would be just plain awesome, now wouldn’t it?
Rachelgrace53 July 6, 2011, 3:46 am
COMMENT OF THE WEEK!
Beans629 July 5, 2011, 3:28 pm
Why are those the only two options? You didn’t include the possibility of a healthy, monogamous relationship.
Here’s the thing…if he decides to be in a healthy monogamous relationship that kind of precludes him being bi-sexual.
Bi- Sexuality implies that you are going to be with both a man and a woman and monogamy implies that you are only in a relationship with one other person.
See how that works. I think they call that an oxymoron.
Kate July 5, 2011, 3:31 pm
No, I think bisexuality implies you are attracted to both men and women. Monogamy means “one person”.
SpaceySteph July 5, 2011, 3:37 pm
Bisexuality implies you are going to be attracted to both men and women, not that you must have sex with both all the time.
Just because you are attracted to some people you encounter (male or female or both) does not mean you will be having sex with them even though you are in an exclusive relationship with someone. If you agree to monogamy, thats called cheating whether its with a man or a woman. Nobody claims to stop finding other people attractive just because they are with their SO, just that they will stop acting on that attraction.
bittergaymark July 5, 2011, 11:20 am
I will take a LOT of heat for this, but you know what? If I was a girl in my early twenties I would so, so, so NOT date a bi-guy. I just wouldn’t. Why? Because I agree with Carrie Bradshaw on this one! All too often bisexuality in young men is simply a layover on the way to Gay Town. Seriously. I was bisexual for about five minutes. During which I dated and bedded three willing young women.
Look, the thing people don’t get about being gay is that there was and STILL is such pressure NOT to be gay, that…well…you really, REALLY have to go out of your way convince yourself that YOU are gay. To do this, you often have to keep sleeping with guy after guy. I know it sounds slutty, and it is, I suppose. But I know from my own confusing (but HOT!) fratboy days that it is VERY difficult to truly accept that you are gay. I was so TRYING to be sexually into women. And it was all very confusing as I would slept with women I had been dating and REALLY liked and would be totally blase’ about the sex. It was just boring. Awful. And a lot of work as I was just NOT into it. Then I would have some random drunken blowjob exchange with some I-have-no-idea-who-you-are frat boy and it would all be so explosive and fantastic.
That said, I did NOT go to bathhouses. Look, even I had standards.
No, no. I kid, I kid. Look, I feel for your guy here. I really, really do. But he is seriously putting you at risk here. Not only of STDs. But of falling in love with the guy, getting married, having kids, and then having him realize that he is gay in your late thirties or forties and running off with Mr. Hot-Guy-At-The-Office. It’s just NOT worth it. So not worth it.
Male sexuality is a powerful thing. And much more HARD wired than its female counterpart. Guys WANT what they want and it is NOT something you can alter or change. And sure, there are definitely some true bi-guys out there. And if they are in their 40s and still chasing women I tend to take them a whole lot seriously. But I STILL turn them down when they try to pick me up at IKEA and want to take me over to their place because their “caring” and “understanding” wife is at work. “Oh, but she’s cool with this! She’s totally cool!”
Hey, trust me. If I was you or any young lady — I wouldn’t be cool.
Amber July 5, 2011, 12:18 pm
I am now 31, and knew three “Bi” guys in my late teens/early twenties. They are now all 100% gay.
LTC039 July 5, 2011, 11:23 am
Ahh you said exactly what I wanted to say, with the exceptions of the anecdotes of my “questioning college days” lol.
Very well said!
ReginaRey July 5, 2011, 12:14 pm
Thanks for this, Mark. It’s refreshing to hear personal stories about people who struggled with defining their sexuality. In fact, while I know there are some gay men who ALWAYS knew they were gay, they PALE in comparison to the men I’ve heard over and over saying that they really did try to like women – because they were confused, because they felt pressure to, etc. Like you said, it doesn’t mean the LW’s BF isn’t Bi, but as he’s right in that time where so many men are experimenting and discerning and trying their best to define their sexuality, she needs to arm herself with the kind of information you’re presenting if only to guard herself from hurt.
bittergaymark July 5, 2011, 12:22 pm
Oh, I always KNEW I was gay. That’s precisely why in my late teens/early twenties I became so damn DESPERATE to like women. Seriously. It’s the KNOWING that can make one act the most confused… If that makes any sense.
Amber July 5, 2011, 1:11 pm
Fact is, a guy would have to be pretty into men to be willing to go against the masculinity pressure and actually get it on with another man. I really don’t think a guy with a passing feeling of “I wonder what that would be like?” would actually take that leap and go to a gay bathhouse.
spaceboy761 July 5, 2011, 1:27 pm
“That said, I did NOT go to bathhouses. Look, even I had standards.”
YOU FUCKING RULE!!!
beans629 July 5, 2011, 1:50 pm
Ok,this is your second reference to ‘getting hit on in IKEA by a straight gay guy’ in two different posts. So I have to know…do you spend a whole lot of time in IKEA or is the IKEA you go to a hotbed of smutty guys with sleazy pickup lines?
spaceboy761 July 5, 2011, 1:55 pm
I’m gonna bet on ‘A little from Column A, a little from Column B’
bittergaymark July 5, 2011, 2:02 pm
Spaceboy is right. See, I used to go to IKEA constantly (two to three times a week) as I was a production designer at this ghetto-ass cable network where the only set dressing I could afford was IKEA. That said, when I speak of my trips to IKEA it usually revolves around the same guy. Who was/is VERY hot. Dangerously so. I am so, so tempted by him. And surprise, surprise…he is there ALOT.
spaceboy761 July 5, 2011, 2:05 pm
Yup. I knew that because that’s where I used to go to bag cougars.
bittergaymark July 5, 2011, 2:11 pm
Oh, I can totally see that. Definitely. Mr IKEA was very forthcoming that he gets a lot of play there. A lot of other bi-guys, all with understanding wives of course. Wives so understanding that the whole arrangement doesn’t even ever need to be spoken about. “Why tell the wife? She’s so cool!” ” She’d totally understand!” “Hey, I totally told her I was bi when we were dating! I told all about that one time with Gary…”
Beans629 July 5, 2011, 3:53 pm
Several references to IKEA, living in CA, and one reference to being a designer. Are you Mark Brunetz from Clean House? 🙂
If so, I totally hate that you left and I can’t even watch that show anymore without you and Niecy.
Just kidding. But I am so developing my first internet crush on you. 😉
fast eddie July 5, 2011, 4:38 pm
WOW, you got in on with 3 women in 5 minutes? Very impressive.
TheOtherMe July 5, 2011, 4:42 pm
Hahah I wanted to say that but didn’t have the balls to !!! Thanks Eddie !
fast eddie July 5, 2011, 6:49 pm
It’s always a pleasure to see your comments Isabelle. I’d to be able to email you directly. Clicking on my picture will bring up my web site contains a includes a contact button. 🙂
fast eddie July 5, 2011, 6:54 pm
Sorry about the typing errors, our kitten’s playing with the keyboard again.
Mr44 July 6, 2011, 8:40 am
Maybe this study is now outdated, but don’t most schools teach tke Kinsey Scale in sex ed? It was part of my education 15 years ago, and it makes a lot more sense to me than the polarized, black/white paradigm.
From their research:
Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories… The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects,
SGMcG July 5, 2011, 10:31 am
LW, I don’t think you are disgusted by your boyfriend’s bisexuality. Rather, you could be frightened from his past experiences with bisexuality because of how it may affect your relationship presently. Yet just because your boyfriend had experiences with other men does not automatically preclude that he will not exercise monogamy or demand polyamory due to your own lack of penis. Just as much as you have to be good, giving and game (GGG – thanks Dan Savage!) to how he sexually identifies himself, HE also has to be GGG to what you want in the relationship too. Just because he is bisexual, it does not mean that he cannot be monogamous – if that is what you want. This could be an opportunity for you to exhibit masculine attributes in your feminine physique and/or include toys in your playtime together, like that couple in the bi-sexual marriage:
Yes, your boyfriend SERIOUSLY dropped the ball here. Even when it is embarrassing and uncomfortable, it is vital to share the truth about everything. Your boyfriend now has to make it up to you with his honesty now. In turn, you have to provide that same honesty no matter what, even if it’s saying something you know will hurt him, because if you don’t have trust, you don’t have a relationship. This is a good opportunity to open the lines of communication regarding your expectations, your desires and goals in this relationship and discover if they are individual based or shared. Based on that conversation, you’ll know if you want to stay the course or MOA.
j.walker July 5, 2011, 11:37 am
So he might be bisexual, oh no wait actually he checked out a bathhouse, oh no, wait actually he frequents bathhouses and has had at least two sexual encounters with men… That was a week ago… I’m willing to bet that by the time this letter was posted even more of the story had come out.
Even if that’s not the case I would be very hesitant to continue dating someone who takes over three months and various layers of lies to reveal something that important about themselves.
Jessika July 5, 2011, 2:43 pm
that’s exactly what I was thinking, who knows what the guy has confessed to this poor girl at this stage!!!
MiMi July 5, 2011, 11:58 am
The fact that the new boyfriend has energy behind his ever-more-detailed confessions, bringing up the subject a third time even after it was obvious LW was a bit freaked out, says to me that this is an ongoing “problem” for him and not a thing of the past. At the very least, his actions have been to make himself more comfortable, at the expense of the LW, and that definitely doesn’t equal love or compassion in my book.
At three months into a brand-new, loving relationship, I would expect to have plenty of stars in my eyes and the world full of rainbows and bunny rabbits, not to have the guy boot me off of cloud nine with an agenda that doesn’t appear to have my happiness at the top of the list..
G July 5, 2011, 12:08 pm
I wanted to come from a perspective of having been there. I actually thought of sending in a similar letter to Wendy at one point! I also fell deeply in love with a bisexual guy. We were complete opposites in many ways. He knew from the start that I am a fairly old-fashioned woman. And I knew from pretty much the start that he was “bi-curious” and had experimented with men. Like the LW, we fell in love VERY quickly. He told me he loved me about a month in (and told me he had been in love since our 2nd date). He always claimed to love my “open-mindedness”. I am the kind of person that likes to hear all sides of a debate (things aren’t always black & white!). And I genuinely want to love and accept people for who they are. However, I had huge trouble dealing with his attraction for men. I am sure there are many women on here that would shake their head at me for that. But, we all have that right to decide what we can and can’t deal with in a relationship. I always say that yes, I am open-minded when it comes to what other people do. But, when it comes to my own bedroom… my own life… yes, I am old-fashioned. I don’t want to compete with men (and he often commented in front of me about which guys were hot… making me feel totally inadequate). And I would never be comfortable experimenting with gender roles to appease any desires I couldn’t fulfill as I am. I absolutely tried to make it work, but other red flags went off… him telling me how “beautiful” he found open relationships (that’s not me… I would never want that). Him trying to get my best friend to “meet” his married friend because his friend had seen her on facebook and found her hot (which showed me utter disrespect for the sanctity of marriage). Either way, in the long run, we decided that we would never be on the same page. I think I will always love him… and there is a huge part of me that sometimes feels sad that I couldn’t be okay with who he was, since our connection was incredible. I was always wondering if he ever fantasized about men while we were “together”… and that was such a painful thought for me. But, it is my right to decide what I feel comfortable with in a relationship. And it is your right as well LW. Like some other posters said, make sure you find out exactly what his bisexuality entails. (And also make sure he knows the lying was completely unacceptable… no matter what was behind it) And then, decide if you 100% feel you can learn to accept this. Because his desires are not likely to change. He might be able to cover them up, but he’d end up resenting you for it. If you decide to end this because you can not stop picturing him with men and feel uncomfortable with it- do not feel guilty!!! As far as I can tell, you haven’t been cruel to him, told him that he was disgusting for his desires, etc. etc. It is just like any other characteristic/quality in a person that we decide we can or cannot handle in a relationship. You are not a bad person for deciding what you want for your current and future life. As much as you love him- you need to love yourself too.
Amber July 5, 2011, 1:09 pm
I really only see three possible outcomes here:
1. He eventually drops the Bi and is just gay (likely when he gets a bit older and his sex drive drops to the point where he can’t get it up for women anymore).
2. He convinces the LW into letting him have something on the side with men.
3. He starts trolling craigslist for after-work blowjobs while keeping the LW convinced that his man-on-man trysts are a thing of the past.
SpaceySteph July 5, 2011, 2:06 pm
I think there is a fourth outcome, which the LW is hoping for: He really is bisexual, but eventually commits to one woman (or one man) in a long term monogamous relationship/marriage/civil union.
But, for the LW, I think there are too many unknowns to stay. He could be a committed monogamist, or he could be a one-woman-several-men kind of guy. He could be open about wanting a man on the side, or secretive about it (i.e. your craigslist option). I think he is too young (or too newly out of the closet) to be sure of what he wants, and the LW could get her heart broken. If you want your boyfriend/husband to be yours and just yours, then I think you and your bf need to cool things down while he figures out whether he can commit to that. If you are ok (really, really, really ok- and from your letter, I don’t think you are) with your man seeing men on the side to satisfy his guy on guy desires, then discuss that- whether you would want to know about it or not, whether you would want to be watching/participating or not.
Bottom line is that he may not be the guy for you, and thats ok and it doesn’t make you a homophobe or him a bad person because your sexual orientations/desires do not sync up.
Landygirl July 5, 2011, 1:09 pm
People throw around the word “Love” so easily these days. How can you love someone you barely know? Obviously, you have a lot to learn about this guy. I think you want to be in love but I don’t think you truly are.
You’ve been with this guy such a short time that it wouldn’t hurt too much if you broke up with him, not because of his preferences, but because of his lack of honesty. Yes, it’s a difficult subject, but if he is acting this way now, I wonder what else he isn’t telling you for fear that you’ll leave.
If you have to convince yourself to stay, then maybe it isn’t the thing to do.
If you don’t accept someone for who they are, good and bad, then they aren’t the person for you.
spaceboy761 July 5, 2011, 1:24 pm
This process of bisexual revelation would have been much funnier if it took in a matter of seconds…
[LW on cell phone]
“Oh, so you identify as bisexual even though you’ve never….
OK, so you’ve visited a gay bathouse once just out of sheer curiousity. I guess if…
Naked, huh? Well, if it was just a one time thing then…
TWICE?! I’m really not sure if…
You’re banging a guy right now, aren’t you?…. ”
[LW stares shamefully at ground]
TheOtherMe July 5, 2011, 2:09 pm
Blitzen July 5, 2011, 2:49 pm
I have no issue with bisexual people, but I wouldn’t date one. LW, I imagine, to make a relationship like this work, you are gonna need tons of honesty and communication, which have so far been lacking. I agree with a commenter above who pointed out that the outright lying was disturbing. This has heartbreak and drama written all over it. It’s relatively early in the relationship. I would MOA…
fast eddie July 5, 2011, 4:43 pm
I dated some bisexual women when I was single and have no regrets about it.
Elle July 5, 2011, 2:02 pm
I was wondering what Wendy would tell him, if he were to write in. The best thing I could come up with (I’m not Wendy, so please don’t hold me to the same standards 🙂 ) is that he’s not ready to date yet. He’s confused about his sexuality, he’s still in the experimenting phase, he’d better not bring someone else into his mess. So, LW, I don’t think you should be dating him anymore, until he figures himself out.
The ducked up thing is that he doesn’t know how his sexuality will affect a future relationship. He needs to be in one to see how things work out. After reading Dan Savage for a while, I think it’s safe to expect him to want to have sex with a guy every once in a while. Can you live with that, LW? Do you think that, by then, you’ll love him so much, that you wouldn’t mind, and perhaps one day you might want to join him?
One thing I would like to add though. I don’t think he’s a liar. I think it was very hard for him to be honest with LW, and he feared that he would lose her if she knew. And he was right. Still, other guys marry the girl, and tell her 5 years into the marriage. I don’t think 3 months is that late.
MissDre July 5, 2011, 2:24 pm
Thumbs up x 1000!
sobriquet July 5, 2011, 3:35 pm
My, this is complicated! You started out thinking your boyfriend was bi-curious. I understand why you might have reacted poorly.
First things first: You need to sit down with him and ask him to tell you everything. You can’t have a solid, trusting relationship if you’re scared he’s going to offer new details about his sexuality every few weeks. Get mentally prepared for it so that you won’t be totally shocked if he tells you he used to work as a male hooker and has had a boyfriend named Paulo for past 6 months. Seriously, prepare yourself for the worst, because if you have a judgmental look on your face he won’t be completely honest with you.
Hopefully having everything out in the open will help both of you figure out what you want/need. You both seem very confused about how to handle this situation and I can’t blame you. Be honest with him about how you feel about his bisexuality. If you’re not cool with it, then get out now.
And LW, there is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to date someone who is bisexual. It doesn’t make you a homophobic bigot. I personally don’t think I could be with someone I knew I couldn’t satisfy fully, but I have no idea. I think it’s vital for your boyfriend to step in and tell you why it won’t be a problem in your relationship and explain his needs. Unfortunately, I don’t think he’s at a place yet where he even knows what he wants.
oldie July 5, 2011, 8:36 pm
This is another case where the word ‘love’ is thrown around very freely. There is a difference between love and lust/infatuation. When you love someone,you love and accept who they are, you like them, you trust them, you share similar values and outlook on life. You can’t logically say that you both ‘love’ your bi-sexual boyfriend and at the sametime are disgusted by his bi-sexual sexuality. Being bi-sexual is a big part of who this person is and if that disgusts you, then you are not ever going to actually love him. You don’t have to be happy with every physical, mental, or personality characteristic of the one you love, but if a huge part of who that person is rises to the level not of dislike or annoying, but disgust, then it is time to MOA. Disgust is a pretty deep-rooted emotion and unlikely to change easily.
FWIW I suspect he is playing you and wants to live a bi-sexual, rather than straight monogamous lifestyle. He seems to have hooked you and is now reeling you into acceptance of this situation. You will be his only woman, but he’ll have many men. His approach to men suggests he doesn’t care for an actual relationship with one.
Flower White July 12, 2011, 9:47 am
I was in that situation. Meet a great guy. We had the talk: “I do not date bisexual men if you’ve had a long relationship with a man I’d consider you biseuxal”.
No no, I’m straight-he said.
Good. Cause I know I don’t want the baggage a bisexual man has!!
Cue two months later after I’ve fallen in love with him. The long-time ex- “girlfriend’ he’d been talking about… was, I found out when I googled- a TRANNY.
A man a pre op man living as a woman. A man with a penis and breasts. A man without a vagina! THAT was his ex!
I was pissed and in love.
Long story short I could not get the picture of him and the tranny out of my mind.
Worse he was fixated on anal sex! From being with that tranny for so long.
Worse he was passing the tranny as an ugly woman to his family he lied and told him he was a bio-woman!!
A year later I’ve broken up with him. He ended up being an alcohoholic bi-polar!!
Girl leave that bi man alone!! Move on. Get yourself a straight man!!
Flower White July 12, 2011, 9:18 pm
Hey everybody what I meant to say is: I specifically told him from the beginning that I do not chose to date bisexual men, as my preference is heterosexual men. He kept hidden his past, pulled out all the stops to romance me, I fell in love with him and bam, a reality slap. His ex-gf was really his ex-bf!
To me, a trans man with a penis is NOT a woman. Sorry! My ex kept trying to call me homophobic. I have gay friends. I have trans friends. I would not want to date them, though!
It is our choice who we want to date. I want to date a straight man.
Again…cut your loss. Move on. Been there done that. Too much lying, snooping and deceit.
The straw that broke my relationship with the bisexual? Against my better judgement I told him: we can continue to date but if I get a whiff that you are flirting with trans or men we are history… like the Original Poster I snooped on my ex’s computer! There it was… he’s been to his tranny ex’s webpage…AND he visited a tranny-porn website!
After than I knew it was over. We struggled two more months before breaking up in couples therapy. I wish I had just broken up with him when I saw his tranny ex on google.
There will be no next time with me and I am super-careful super-careful vetting men. But after all that drama with him, I’ve been single and celibate for a year!
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story.
blindgirl June 30, 2012, 8:41 pm
I just found out my bf of 2 and a half years is bi sexual..i often wondered but he would say no thats disgusting. He finally admitted to it and im disgusted. He has lied to me for 2 and a half years. He was more worried about me hurting him then him hurting me..Not telling me so he wouldn’t lose me but had he told me in the beginning I wouldn’t be hurt like i am now.I am sexually put off by him now yet i still love him. I have no idea how much he’s lied about. He tells me he loves me and the thought of romance with a man makes him sick , he just wants that sex. I’m am sure there are monogamous bi’s but there is a difference between bi’s, and straight or gay couples…when your straight you’re getting the sexual experience you want.the opp sex…when you’re gay you’re getting the sex experience you want, the same sex..when you’re bi you desire both male and female parts ,if you’re monogamous you’re only getting one..i think its harder to stay monogamous when you want two totally different sexual experiences at once and only getting one. How are you able to be sexually satisfied enough to stay true to one person.
ANNE J August 20, 2018, 3:00 pm
I fancied my man when we met because he looks tall and hairy, very manly. As we became entangled into a deep relationship, the signs all showed. He is very theatrical and obsessed by drag queens. He is lazy in bed and wants me to do all th chasing and the work. And penetrate him.
It makes me feel sick, I don’t like this. I dont want to picture him having sex with a man. Im certain when he is older he’ll become gay and a drag queen.
I really can’t bear this. It knocks me physically sick.
I love him so much and its going to break my heart to lose him but I cannot give him what he wants. Im so depressed and dont know what to do
CM November 25, 2019, 9:31 pm
So, what you’re saying is, your boyfriend entered into a relationship with you under false pretense; your relationship was founded on a lie. You boyfriend then proceeded to groom you to accept the continued emotional abuse by trickling half truths and omissions – each time followed by an apology from YOU after HE was caught in yet ANOTHER LIE.
Do I have that right?
So YOU feel like a horrible person over time, in proportion to HIS gaslighting, lying, manipulation, etc.
Ask yourself one question, answer it honestly – say it out loud – then don’t think about this boy for another moment of your life. Here’s the question:
“What advise would you give a girlfriend if she were sharing this story with you, about her boyfriend?”
That’s right. Dump him, then start thinking about why you accepted this type of partner – daughter him out perhaps.
Get into therapy. Start healing. Best wishes.
Dylan August 12, 2021, 5:33 pm
It’s pretty tone-deaf to take issue with him lying about his gay experiences when his girlfriend was clearly drilling him for that info and her reactions were ostensibly of some severity (in embarrassment, disgust, whatever). He lied because he’s ashamed of these encounters, because he’s in a relationship where he can’t feel comfortable about his sexuality. That’s the problem there.
He didn’t even have the sexual encounters during the relationship so it’s a really not a consequential lie, but you’re all acting like it’s a betrayal on the lines of cheating. Jeez, get over yourselves.