Advice – Is my bisexual girlfriend polyamorous?

My (33m) girlfriend (26f) and I have been together for about a little more than 6 months and everything has going smoothly between us so far. But there has been something that doesn’t sit quite right with me.

To give you some background, we met on Tinder and after having sex a few times told me she had to break up with the other guys because we’re on the same wavelength. We just clicked. Then she asked me to be her boyfriend after dating for a few months.

We have had a few discussions about our relationship boundaries and expectations in the six months we have been together. We have decided to stay monogamous, but every conversation that we’ve had about the subject has not left me feeling very reassured about our future. For example, she has mentioned polyamory during a couple of conversations but not that she actually wants that to be part of our relationship, she just mentioned it when talking about how well our communication is. I told her that wasn’t something I was interested in and she said she was not either but again mentioned that if it did come up she knows we could communicate. So it has left me confused because she sometimes posts pro poly memes and quotes on her social media and follows a page called poly.land. She says she wasn’t interested in that and that when she was on Tinder dating guys she was sort of already getting that experience.

We had another talk about our relationship recently because I guess I’m not feeling reassured that we’re not going to change away from monogamy. She got a little upset that I wanted to talk about it again since she said we already “agreed to remain exclusive to each other until we decide to change our relationship agreement” and that last part left me feeling confused but I don’t want to bring it up anymore and try to take her word. Another detail is that she is bisexual and has only kissed a woman but never slept with one and I’m thinking she is still open to making a connection with one if she finds the right one. Also, she told me there was a girl she liked while she was with her baby daddy but he was abusive towards her and she wanted to leave. Basically, it all just seems like she is still making herself available to women and our conversations have not reassured me that we will remain monogamous in the future.

Is she open to the possibility and maybe not sure that is what she wants or is she waiting to see how things go with us?

Help Me I’m Frozen, Reddit.
Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

Dear Help Me I’m Frozen,

There are quite a few misconceptions around polyamory and bisexuality that I believe that we should first spend some time deconstructing and analyzing before we can get to the meat of the advice.

First things first. Being cognizant of polyamorous lifestyle is very, very different from being in polyamorous relationships. And being in polyamorous relationships can look very different for a person who is more ambiamorous (as in ambivalent about polyamory/monogamy) and for another who is strictly polyamorous (as in cannot ever do monogamy).

And let’s talk more about being polyamorous as compared to doing polyamory. I am a firm believer that too many folks use the identity “polyamorous” to forsake the emotional labor that accompanies ethical non-monogamy. It is a serious problem in the poly-spaces I reside in because that poly label is frequently misused by people who aren’t ethically non-monogamous. It is often a much more fruitful endeavor to ask “Can I do polyamorous relationships?” rather than “Am I polyamorous?” The first question allows us to inspect the context of the relationship landscape as well as pre-existing relationship agreements, whereas the second question often lends itself to a much higher burden of proof. The current exclusive relationship agreement in your relationship does not allow for any non-monogamous arrangements. And since she is clearly aware of polyamory, she is consciously choosing monogamy with you when she agreed to be exclusive with you. And it even sounds like she has continued to reemphasize her stance on exclusive monogamy with you.

Photo by An Nguyen on Unsplash

Another thing for you to consider is that there are positive aspects to polyamory that are absolutely applicable to monogamy as well.

In my opinion, Poly.land is a great blog that talks a lot about poly-specific and poly-adjacent materials that doesn’t just provide value for staunchly polyamorous folks but also for staunchly monogamous folks who want more information on how to improve their own monogamous relationships. And perhaps that is what your girlfriend is doing by acknowledging and celebrating polyamory even if she doesn’t ever want to do polyamory herself.

As your girlfriend noted, one of the things that polyfolks seem to do well is in communication. Many polyfolks I know do intensive monthly check-ins similar to the RADAR model from Multiamory to address relationship conflicts, engage in each other’s vulnerabilities, and keep each other accountable for necessary personal developments. And it sounds like she wanted to celebrate the communicative strength in her monogamous relationship with you, similar to what she has read about in polyamorous relationships. And instead of acknowledging that bid and diving deeper into how your communicative chemistry is on par with those of polyamorous relationships, you immediately jumped to reject polyamory and get defensive about some underlying insecurity that you might have.

See how that is ironic considering she initially approached you to celebrate your communication skills?

If you dig deeper into why that feels so sore and so sensitive, you might find that there is an underlying fear of the unknown. Specifically, it is a fear that she might change her mind about monogamy. In a later comment, you mentioned that you would like your girlfriend to be upfront and clear about any future intentions to be non-monogamous. And it sounds like she already has. She did exactly that when she said she “agreed to remain exclusive to each other until we decide to change our relationship agreement.” It could be that you aren’t hearing what she has to say; that even though she knows about polyamory, she is choosing monogamy with you.

Photo by Miska Sage on Unsplash

Even your internal dialogue and subsequent projection about her own bisexuality is rife with misunderstanding and reflects on your deeper insecurities.

I wrote a column about the intersection between bisexuality and monogamy in this post from a year ago. And in that post, I specifically talked about how bisexuality can and often does exist in the same space as monogamy. Bifolks need not be in multiple relationships with people of different genders in order to be a card-carrying member of the Bisexuals. Bifolks who are in a monogamous relationship with same or opposite sex partners are still bisexual. In a more recent column from about a month ago, I wrote about how the number of same sex partners do not define bisexuality; bisexuality is justified in the mere virtue of its existence. What I am trying to say is that she is still choosing to be with an opposite sex partner – like 84% of the bisexuals who end up in opposite sex relationships. And her choice to be with you does not diminish or reflect negatively on her bisexuality.

You say that you think “she is still open to making a connection with one if she finds the right one.” That is completely contradictory to both what she has agreed to with you and what she has shared about her sexuality. Consider that straight folks have crushes on opposite sex friends and coworkers too. And crushing on people is natural. Exclusivity does not mean that you won’t have crushes on other people. Exclusivity just means that you will develop proper boundaries to avoid indulging in those crushes. In the same way, just because she is bisexual doesn’t mean that she can’t make close connections with people of genders that she happens to be attracted to. And part of building upon a relationship is to develop that trust that your partner will honor all the relationship agreements even when you aren’t omnisciently present in all of her personal connections.

It is deeply problematic to override her own experience of bisexuality into how she wants to experience her romantic relationship with you.

How you have internalized her bisexuality is not at all how she herself experiences her bisexuality. It is not your responsibility to comprehensively understand what her bisexuality means for her. It is however your responsibility to acknowledge and accept her sexuality as she experiences it.

Photo by An Nguyen on Unsplash

It is time to fix the broken bucket.

There is a popular Korean proverb that goes like this –

안에서 새는 바가지 나가서도 샌다.

It strictly translates to “A broken bucket that leaks inside will also leak outside.” And in the same way that a broken bucket will never hold water, all the reassurances your girlfriend can possibly pump into you will hold no water as long as it leaks through the fundamental holes that are your deeper inner insecurities.

Consider all the information you have in front of you. You say that you don’t feel reassured. But it isn’t really your girlfriend’s responsibility to make you feel reassured. It sounds like she has already done a lot to make you feel reassured. But that relationship anxiety that you feel is very likely coming from deep inside of you, a part of you only you can alter and make changes to. It is manifesting in the insecurity you feel about her potentially changing her mind about monogamy. It is also manifesting in the way that you envision her bisexuality to mean something else. Take time to acknowledge these as growth opportunities that you need to work on either by yourself or with a trusted therapist.

As you have experienced, continuing to revisit and re-trigger these conflict points with your girlfriend will not go well. The remaining work is yours and yours alone.

You say that you want to take her at her word. So take it.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at teatimetomato@gmail.com. If you liked my advice for this post, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also subscribe below to get alerted when my next advice column is published!

Advice – In a long distance relationship, fantasizing about strangers.

My partner (M27) and I (F21) are in a long distance relationship thing, we met in early 2019 and eventually got back together half a year ago. He is literally halfway across the world from me and due to this situation we have to wait a little bit more to see each other again in person (we haven’t seen each other for nearly 2 years). During the time we were apart, we had bf/gf and later realised that we should be together. I love him more than anything and we believe that we are made for each other.

The thing is I do have this “wild dream” that I want to have different sexual experiences with different people as “you only live once”, and I’m bisexual which makes it sound really promising. And I’m pretty sure that my partner has had way more fun in this field than I do, and I’m a bit petty about that. Not like I’m dying to have sex with any human beings, just I have always wanted to know everything, to live the typical “college sex life” thing that I don’t have. In the past, I have only had sex with less than 10 guys, and they were just.. fine, like nothing special about it, and I know that I wanted more. But also a part of me acknowledge that I love my partner and I only want him for honestly the rest of my life and we will for sure have a healthy steamy sweaty sex life.

So what should I do? I haven’t told him about this, I think I will when we are in person, but still this thought is stuck in my head.

KK Healing, Reddit.

Dear KK Healing,

As someone who has also been in a handful of long distance relationships, I can definitely relate to the difficulties that come with lack of physical intimacy in long distance relationships. Long distance relationships were already difficult enough as is pre-pandemic. And now with the added complexity of COVID risk management in addition to the uncertainty of the future, I can definitely empathize with how difficult it has been for both you and your partner. For the sake of the discussion below, I am going to assume that you have a traditionally monogamous arrangement with your partner.

In your case, it is further complicated by your perception of the “college sex life”, the assumed sexual experience gap between you and your partner, and your bisexuality. Each of those aspects adds a different wrinkle to your perception. So let’s unpack those one by one before we get to the actual advice portion of this post.

We are socialized and conditioned to envision an idealistic, hyperactive college sex life. But contrary to common beliefs, National College Health Association (NCHA) reports that in the spring of 2020, 40.2% of undergraduates have never had vaginal intercourse and 34.7% have never had oral intercourse. What is even more interesting is that that number is actually lower than what NCHA reported in fall of 2015, which indicates that less college undergrads are having sex today than five years ago. So the conditioning around sexually active college undergrads might be more rooted in fantasy than reality. The same 2020 NCHA survey further found that out of the 54.4% of the undergraduates who had sex in the past year, 15% had more than four sexual partners. That means only 8.16% of the college undergrad population maintains that perceived “college sex life” story we tell ourselves in our heads. And in reality, most folks – 82.5% to be exact – either never have sex in college or only have had one sex partner in the last year.

The Contemporary Group puts it succinctly – “Perceptions can often be distorted. When everyone in a small social group is engaged in a particular activity, it may seem as if everyone on campus must be doing the same.”

Then there is the COVID layer to add to all of this. Most people aren’t really seeking new sex partners while there is a global pandemic going around. Instead, more folks are turning to sex toys and established sexual connections to meet their sexual needs. And according to Dr. Justin Garcia of the Kinsey Institute, 71% of singles did not have sex with anyone since the pandemic started ramping up. So even if the “college sex life” perception were to be true, that sexual aspect would be even more depressed in the context of the pandemic.

“Sexual fantasies: our misperceptions about the sex lives of young people.” IPSOS. Aug 8, 2018.

Now that we have deconstructed the myth surrounding “college sex life”, let’s talk about your perception of the sexual experience gap.

According to this study from IPSOS, we perceive that others have three times the amount of sex than they actually do in reality. Bobby Duffy’s Perils of Perception theorizes that such a gap could stem from a couple different factors, such as misrepresentation of our sexual activities and misleading portrayals in popular media and entertainment. Duffy further hypothesizes that “part of it seems likely to be ‘social desirability bias’, where we give the answers we think are socially acceptable, which pushes men to inflate the reality and women to deflate it.

Let’s now apply this to your perception. Based on what you have shared, I gather that you and your partner never had a frank and complete discussion about your respective past sexual history. It could just be possible that you anticipate that he has been more sexually active than you were, even though it isn’t necessarily the truth. It is even more interesting to see you apply the word pettiness to the experience gap. That could be a reflection of your six-year age gap, in that you almost want to “catch up” to the perception of the sex life your partner has had before he met you.

Even if we assume that there is indeed a gap in sexual experiences that you and your boyfriend have each had, the number of sex partners – as you yourself experienced – is not at all indicative of the quality of the sex life that he maintained before you have. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had five sex partners or fifty. What is more important is the type and depth of those connections as well as what they can bring to the relationship you have with them now. And the question you should really be asking is if the type of intimacy you currently have in your long distance relationship (and will have when you two eventually close the distance gap) is satisfying enough for both of you collectively and each of you individually.

Now let’s talk about your bisexuality.

Based on what you have shared, I gather that you have had no or very limited same-sex sexual encounters. And because you are currently in a monogamous long distance relationship with an opposite-sex partner, there isn’t an opportunity for you to experience same-sex relationships, which is feeding into your fear of missing out. You commented in a later thread that you and your boyfriend have discussed having threesomes so that you can still experiment with and experience your bisexuality in a space that is still safe for your relationship with your boyfriend. But threesomes are really only a small subset of the whole bisexual experience and expression of your sexuality.

Let’s first separate your bisexuality from your desire to sleep with others.

Bisexuality probably does not exist in a gender-scarcity vacuum where bifolks need to have two partners of the opposite-sex in order to be satisfied. Bisexuality and monogamy often does exist in the same space, in the same way that heterosexuality and monogamy exists in the same space. Straight monogamous folks can still miss sleeping with other people of the opposite sex too. Monogamous bifolks that happen to be in opposite sex relationships are still bisexual in the same way that bifolks in same sex relationships are still bisexual. Your fantasy/desire to experience a wider spectrum of your sexual expression is actually independent from your bisexuality. Bisexuality just happens to be the medium through which your desire is manifesting.

Many bifolks feel that they are not “bisexual enough” simply because they have not yet had an adequate amount of same-sex encounters. But in honesty, there is no quota or expectation around how many people one need to have slept with in order for that person to be qualified as a sexual being. Your bisexuality does not need first-hand experience in order for your sexual identity to be justified; it is justified in the mere virtue of your existence.

Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

So let’s finally put it all together.

You asked what you can do with your desires.

Fantasy is healthy, even when the fantasies themselves are not viable in reality. If you find yourself frequently fantasizing about sleeping with others, think of it as a result of your current sexual headspace instead of feeling shame or guilt about how promiscuous you want to be. In your current absence of sexual and physical intimacy, finding creative solutions and outlets for your sexuality is not only sane but necessary for your survival. Lady Vivra wrote a great piece about embracing your sexual fantasies here that might be worth a read.

Dare to be more sexually honest with yourself.

Allow yourself to freely indulge in the kind of sexual headspace you need to be in in order to survive this current long distance aspect of your relationship with your boyfriend. Many find fantasizing about the unreality to be very challenging, especially if it deviates so far from what is deemed possible. Self-acceptance will come with the self-honesty.

Once you feel more comfortable with expressing your desires by yourself, you can then use this opportunity to connect with your boyfriend at a more vulnerable, foundational level. Since it has been two years since you last shared the same physical space, I am sure he too is feeling the sharp longing for a physical reconnection with you. And it is very possible that he too has fantasized about sleeping with others the same way you have. Even if exploratory non-monogamy is off the table, being able to connect with your partner about the honest desires that you two have will lead to greater enjoyment in your current intimate connection.

Don’t just wait until the distance is closed; do it now. A great way to start this conversation is by sharing how you have been feeling and the challenges you have been facing. This will give your partner an opportunity to empathize with the sharp longing that you have been experiencing, to share his own experiences with his own longing for you, and to work together for a solution – even if temporary – that works for both of you collectively and each of you individually as you weather the long distance portion of your phenomenal relationship. That will help you both get to that healthy, steamy, sweaty sex life not just when the distance is closed, but also to ensure that you two keep having healthy, steamy, sweaty sex life.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at teatimetomato@gmail.com. If you liked my advice for this post, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also subscribe below to get alerted when my next advice column is published!

Advice – My wife is bisexual.

Photo by Elina Sazonova on Pexels.com

Anonymous writes…

“… My wife came out to me this past week as bisexual.

She said it is something she has more or less known for a long time, but it has been part of an ongoing conversation she’s been having with a therapist as part of self acceptance. I long pretty much knew myself, but this was a big step as it was the first time we both knew.

I’m happy she is able to accept that part of herself I am as supportive as I can be. However, I can’t lie and say that it hasn’t caused me some confusion.

The two of us dated since high school and have been each other’s first and only. She’s never been with a woman at all. Now I feel some guilt, as she will never have the opportunity to, even though that part of herself is something we both know for certain now. I know she will always be faithful, which causes me a lot of guilt as I feel now like I’ll always be in the way of her exploring that side of herself.

I also am a little confused because I know she has a crush on some of her friends. It’s going to be discouraging to see them continue to spend time with her and whether they know it or not, not return the same looks and such that she may have for them. I feel bad for her, and I’m just not sure how to process it.

I’m just not sure how to feel about any of it. Can anyone offer some advice?”

Dear Anonymous,

I am really happy that you can be so supportive of your wife’s sexual orientation! But I do think that there are some major gaps here that we can work on closing. We should do a deeper dive in the guilt you are experiencing and where that feeling originates from.

It sounds like your sense of guilt stems a bit from the fact that your wife cannot explore same sex relationships while in a monogamous relationship with you. There are three underlying concepts here that I would like to respond to.

Photo by Moose Photos on Pexels.com

One. Bisexual means that she doesn’t just have crushes on women. She also has crushes on men as well. It is true that she is in a monogamous relationship with you. So she can’t explore relationships with either men or women. She has likely had crushes on men throughout your relationship and marriage. But she has chose to honor and follow through on the monogamous commitment that you’ve made to each other. The fact that she cannot explore external same sex relationships is not that much different from the fact that she already cannot explore different sex relationships either.

Two. Her embracing of her bisexual identity means very little for her existing friendships and crushes. Are you implying here that you felt uncomfortable about your wife maintaining different sex friendships when she used to identify as straight? Trust and faithfulness isn’t tied to the person, but to the commitment that you two have made together. That for the sake of your own relationship, both you and your wife will forego pursuing any other relationships. She has already been maintaining her boundaries around her crushes no matter what genders her crushes were for long before she met you. So continue to trust in her agreement with you.

Three. Ethical non-monogamy/open relationship is also an option. Giving her an opportunity to explore her newly recognized connection to women would not only respect her newly embraced identity but also help provide some backdrop for her ongoing relationship with you. I’ll add here that not everyone is suited to be non-monogamous. An attraction to more than one person/gender does not necessarily mean that they can do ethical non-monogamy in a healthy and respectful way for everyone involved. This should only be approached after you’ve both done your homework. Feel free to check out my advice earlier for poly newbies.

Photo by Elle Hughes on Pexels.com

So set aside your feelings for a little bit here and celebrate her embrace of her new identity! Bifolks who are in monogamous relationship with one gender often get critique about their choice of partner. Support and cherish in her identity. And acknowledge that her new identity is just a first step in her long journey to not just self-acceptance, but in gathering acceptance from all others as well.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at teatimetomato@gmail.com. If you liked my advice for this post, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also subscribe below to get alerted when my next advice column is published!

Advice – How do I tell someone that I am polyamorous?

Photo by Nao Triponez on Pexels.com

/u/lividchocoholic on /r/polyamory writes…

“Context: I’m a bisexual woman in my late 20s, married to a man and dating women separately from him. My crush is a gay woman in her 20s, and we met organically (ie. not on a dating site!).

The situation: so, I met this amazing woman about 6 months ago. We met through her work – I’m a client and she is an assistant at this place. I go to appointments twice a week, so I’ve seen her a lot in the last sixth months. When I would go in and we got to talking, we would always have great conversations. I would stay much longer than my appointment time because we would talk so much (on days when she wasn’t busy). Eventually I worked up the courage to ask if she wanted to hang out or if she even could per her work policy. She said it was fine (everyone is very relaxed there), she’d love to, and we exchanged numbers. We hung out that week – we went to a restaurant and talked for four hours. Since we exchanged numbers, we’ve texted a lot. At this point, probably since at least a month or so ago, we text everyday and it’s usually much more than small talk. She responds to my texts with as much if not more information as I do and she always has follow up questions for me or is interested in hearing how my day went (this has rarely happened to me with girls that I’ve liked). We eventually broke the subject of sexuality (I’d given her plenty of hints already) and we came out to each other. She told me she was single and was trying to date women but that she’s had a hard time trying to get started on online dating because it’s so weird (I agree – online dating sucks). This made me wonder if she had ever seen me on the dating apps that she’d tried. I didn’t bring it up because I didn’t feel like it was the right time, but I’ve always been curious about that. Anyways, we’ve only gotten to hang out outside of her work once since then, and we were supposed to recently, but family stuff in prep for Thanksgiving came up on her end. I have very strong feelings for her, and I do wonder how she feels about me. She knows I’m married, but since I haven’t yet told her that I’m poly, I wonder if she assumes I’m monogamous, and then even in the case that she does have feelings for me, she wouldn’t say anything to me because of that assumption. This is where I find organically meeting people to be really hard because you don’t go into any kind of relationship with them knowing you’re poly; you always eventually have to “come out” to them and gauge their reaction. Which leads me to my problem…

The problem: I really like her. I feel like she might like me as well. I do plan on somewhat naturally bringing up that I’m poly through stories about my life that just happen to include an ex-girlfriend when the conversation turns that way or allows me an in to bring it up naturally. I plan on gauging her reaction from that. But my real problem is – do I then go to the next layer and tell her how I feel about her once she knows I’m poly? I don’t want to do an info dump on her, and I don’t want to overwhelm her in any way. But I worry that if I like her and she likes me and I’m withholding this information, then we’re just wasting time when we could be together or at least start formally dating. Basically, there are multiple layers in my “coming out” to her as poly, and I’m unsure of how to go about telling her how I feel.”

Dear Livid Chocoholic,

What an interesting and curious connection that you have found here! I’m so happy to hear that you were able to connect so well with someone organically.

Someone I used to date once advised me on how to come out as polyamorous organically. It is a technique that I’ve used to some varying degrees of success, before I fully came out as polyamorous to everyone I knew.

First, I would casually bring up how common ethical/consensual non-monogamy is these days and gauge their reaction. The common stat I tend to rely on is the “one in five couples experiment with ethical non-monogamy at some point in their relationship.” Depending on how receptive they are to that discussion, I would add that I am in ethically non-monogamous with my partner. And subsequently reflect on my personal experience to contribute to the merits of polyamorous relationships. They usually ask a lot more about what my personal journey has been, especially if they are interested themselves. I would probably pitch this very column at this point as another venue they can check out to learn more about ethical non-monogamy.

I usually let this sit for a couple days, so that they can do their own research on ethical non-monogamy. And if they still maintain the same level of interest, I would open up to them a bit more about my current availability by reflecting on my recent dating experiences. At that point, it’s easy to segue into heavy and intentional flirting to gauge their respective interest level. If that too is received well, then I would directly communicate my interest to pursue them in more of a romantic scenario.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

What I am trying to say is that you do not have to lay all of your cards out on the table all at once. Instead, you can also approach this step-by-step to see how comfortable you feel about taking that next step. You can first talk about ethical non-monogamy at large. Then talk about your own personal polyamory experience. Then talk about your availability, before you communicate your interest (directly or indirectly). You have a way to halt this discussion at each step of the way without risking too much. If they immediately nope out of the conversation after they discover your polyamorous relationship orientation, then you know there was never going to be a romantic connection.

If you already have a pretty good feeling that she likes you based on the conversations you’ve been having, in her body language, and in the subtle flirty ways, then you can feel much more secure in discussing ethical non-monogamy with her. She already knows you’re married. And she still likes you. So you already have a pretty good foundation to escalate some of that conversational chemistry to outright flirting.

I am so, so excited for you. Have a great time connecting with your crush over non-monogamy.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at teatimetomato@gmail.com. If you liked my advice for this post, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also subscribe below to get alerted when my next advice column is published!

Advice – Straight?

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

/u/trixinout on /r/sex writes…

“I’m a straight married guy, 50, that loves my wife but we have no sex life. She has medical and emotional reasons and I am tired of making us both feel bad for pushing for a sex life. I’ve stopped even mentioning sex in the slightest way I don’t want to cheat, find another woman or further complicate our lives but I want to have sex with men. In short, I want to be fucked and suck cocks. I do not want to be gay, I just want the D. Or D’s. This would hurt my wife who, for the most part, is not at fault for not wanting sex. I do not want to hurt her. What do I do? I’m fit, generally good looking and not ready to forget about sex.

I know plenty of straight married men have sex with men and keep it discreet. I have no idea how to do this. I just feel like it will end badly and destroy my wife. Life is getting shorter.”

Dear Trixin Out,

I advised on a very recent column how fluid human sexuality and sexual orientation spectrum can be. But a lot of guys misunderstand that male sexuality too is a plane of spectrum. Most men round up to one end (straight), the other end (gay), or the third end (asexual). There is a lot of middle ground on that plane of sexuality that have not yet been completely fleshed out. As men, we are often told, in no uncertain terms and in so many different ways, that our sexuality is static and very often concrete. It’s evident even in your language and the cognitive dissonance between being straight and gay. I would also argue that those straight married men who are having discreet gay sex are actually straight. Please consider that you do not have to necessarily identify as gay or straight, even if you are in a monogamous relationship with your other-gendered partner.

Others have already mentioned and advised that seeking sex outside of your monogamous marriage with your wife would constitute infidelity. And I agree. What is more alarming is in the mismatch in the sexual chemistry between you and your wife. Since you and your wife are feeling so far disconnected in your relationship to the point that you don’t feel safe discussing sex, it might be a more beneficial point to discuss and reforge a path to become more comfortable discussing sex and sexuality with your wife. Develop the communicative chemistry and be courageous in communicating your mismatching needs in this relationship. I hope you can get more comfortable discussing your interest in same sex relationships with your wife.

Life is too short to live in denial of the life you want to live. So recognize your own needs, be honest about yourself, and pursue your own life in the best, most ethical way.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at teatimetomato@gmail.com. If you liked my advice for this post, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also subscribe below to get alerted when my next advice column is published!

Advice – Can my sexual orientation change?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

/u/GoingGone_ on /r/relationship_advice writes…

“I’m a girl, and I’m currently 19 years old. I’ve never been physically attracted to girls before, never, not in the slightest. I’ve always considered myself straight, and I had a boyfriend before we broke up one year ago.

I go to the university, and I’m taking a new class. There’s one girl in my class, she’s the reason why I’m making this post. I would not call her classically pretty, but there’s something so magnificent and alluring in her appearance. Her body language, voice and intelligence also really attract me. I don’t know her personally, we barely talk because we’re taking completely different classes excluding the one where I can see her twice a week.

So, I’m really, really confused. Is it possible to fall in love and be physically attracted to someone who has the same gender when overall you’re not attracted to girls at all? I just don’t know whether I’m bisexual or not, she’s the only exception. It’s very shocking to find out this part of yourself when you’ve been convinced all your life you’re straight. It’s a very weird feeling…”

Dear Going Gone,

My absolute favorite flavor of ice cream is vanilla. I’ve enjoyed an embarrassing amount of different vanilla ice cream over the years. Some were really thick and creamy while others were really fluffy and light. There were very plain vanilla ice cream, really spicy vanilla with an extra kick, and all shades in between.

I also really, really like this flavor of ice cream called Blue Moon at this local ice creamery in the town over. It is essentially a rich chocolate-flavored ice cream with bits of light caramel undertones and softness of a cotton candy.

For the most part, I will always opt to get a vanilla flavored ice cream at every ice creamery I go to, with the exception of this place’s Blue Moon.

Much like my taste in ice cream, human sexuality and sexual spectrum is a freeflowing spectrum that is constantly growing and reshaping around different human experiences. I am really happy to hear that you found someone of your own gender that you find attractive. The rules of attraction are often non-verbal and inexplicable. It won’t matter how you verbalize or logically define why or how you are attracted to this person; you just are. Like Blue Moon, this girl in your class could be your small exception to your “mostly heterosexual” rules. Hell. I identify as mostly straight with a couple small exceptions to the rule as well. Labels like heteroflexible, bicurious, and questioning all seemed to fit well for my own experiences to explain that I don’t just find myself attracted to the opposite gender. You might have always had some very basic level of attraction toward other women, but there wasn’t really anyone that you’ve felt that same intense desire for. Or this could be just a really new thing for you that you are now only coming to recognize. Either way, I am so excited for you!

But the label itself isn’t really all that important. What is more important is what you want to do with your feelings. Go talk to her and find out if your feelings are justified. She could be your Blue Moon.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at teatimetomato@gmail.com. If you liked my advice for this post, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also subscribe below to get alerted when my next advice column is published!

Advice – Bisexual woman in heterosexual relationship.

/u/captainsgirl71819 on /r/relationship_advice asks…

“I need some serious help. I am a 36 year old woman that has had mostly relationships with men my past. I hooked up with a few women in my younger days and was married to a woman for years. I always considered myself bisexual because of the fact that I date whoever I just happen to fall in love with or like regardless of their sex. It has always been a struggle because a lot of the LGBT community wanted me to say I was a lesbian when with my ex wife and the straight community says I should say I’m straight when I date a man. To me, attraction simply means who I WOULD be with if I was single, not who I AM with or that I’m taking any action to be with both sexes.

However, in none of my relationships have I felt like I was unfulfilled ONLY because I wasn’t with one or the other sex and I’ve never just run around sleeping with men and women at the same time. When I am in a relationship I am committed to that person.

I am now dating an absolutely amazing man that I love with all my heart. I cannot imagine being with anyone else for the rest of my life male or female. This is where the problem comes in… he thinks that the fact that I technically consider myself bisexual means that I cannot be satisfied with one sex and that he cannot truly be everything I need. I feel like he IS everything I need and more.

I have never had a poly relationship and never had any desire to. Most of my past relationships ended because of me being cheated on by men I was with. My boyfriend and I met during the end of my marriage to the woman and that is when our relationship began.

How do I make him feel better about this? I know he feels concerned that I will eventually leave him or want to leave him for a woman. How can I make him see that he is the only one I want?”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Dear Captainsgirl71819,

This is one of those times I wish I could speak to your current partner, to help him talk through his innate insecurity and help him understand your perspective. I so dearly sympathize with your struggle because it is something some of my dearest bisexual friends and partners have had to suffer. In specific, how others defined their bisexuality on their behalf. It is a truly infuriating experience.

I am really sorry to hear that you have had to experience such negative prejudice and misunderstanding from both the LGBT community and the straight community about your bisexuality. I have always wondered why both the homosexual and heterosexual communities have struggled with the concept of monogamy for bifolks. Straight folks especially don’t really worry in the same way about how they might be missing other potential opportunities out there. I suspect that some of that expectation of “missing out” is more rooted in the more distinct gender differences. If you’re straight/gay and monogamous, you’re already getting all your “specific genitalia” needs met with your monogamous partner. Kindly remind your partner that you chose him for your own reasons. His level of insecurity about what you “might be missing out” still applies to his gender too. So he should be able to apply the same sort of trust that he’s built with you that you won’t be cheating on him with anyone else regardless of their genitalia status.

I remember seeing this post from one of my bisexual connections on Celebrate Bisexuality Day last month:

And it is absolutely true.

The status of your relationship changes nothing about your orientation in the same way that just because you happen to be enjoying this cup of coffee doesn’t mean you won’t be enjoying your next cup of coffee.

I will add here that it ultimately is not your responsibility to help your partner become more at ease with accepting your bisexuality. You’ve been bisexual long before your current partner even came around. That responsibility to accept and help celebrate your bisexuality is his own emotional labor to take on. So stand and be proud of your bisexuality. Kindly remind the world that you are still bi regardless of your current relationship status.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at teatimetomato@gmail.com. If you liked my advice for this post, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also subscribe below to get alerted when my next advice column is published!