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Bisexuality

“Is My Husband Gay?”

Dear Dr. Olson,

Several months ago I met my boyfriend at a party and we really clicked. He asked me out and we’ve dated since then. He treats me very well. A few months after we started dating, he told me he thought he might be bisexual. He said he’s never been in a sexual relationship with a man, but he admits to having erotic fantasies when in the presence of attractive men our age. He admits those attractions are growing stronger. He vacillates between wanting a relationship with me and exploring his same-sex attractions. He doesn’t want to commit to me “until I understand my sexuality better.” Should I try to encourage him to stay with me or set him free to explore his sexuality? Am I being too old fashioned?

First let me say that most people who are bisexual will tell you that just because they’re bisexual doesn’t mean they cannot be monogamous. If you read through the comments on my essay “The Messy Realities of Bisexuality,” you will find many who say that whether you are bisexual or heterosexual, everyone experiences attractions to people outside their primary relationship. But we also have a choice: to control those desires or act on them. Bisexual people are no more promiscuous in their sexual behavior than heterosexuals. But heterosexuals aren’t all that good at monogamy either. Continue reading

Coming Out as Bisexual

Dear Loren,

I am a gay-leaning bisexual man, and I still love my wife after being married for forty years. I’m struggling with the morality, risks, and benefits of “coming out.” There doesn’t seem to be a good way to do this as a bisexual without harming my wife, damaging our relationship, and complicating her relationships with our mutual friends and family. My wife and I are monogamous, and I have no interest in changing that. What is to be gained by being publicly open? Did you ever consider coming out as bisexual? Perhaps it’s a generational issue.

Coming out is not an event but rather a process. Some people believe that unless you make a public declaration of your sexual orientation, you haven’t completed that process. I disagree. Continue reading

I Love my Wife but I Think I’m Gay

I frequently hear from gay men, “I love my wife but I just can’t shut off the attraction I have for men. What should I do?” As I was working on an essay for Psychology Today, I got an email from my ex-wife, whom I divorced 32 years ago, asking me to have lunch.  “Nothing serious.  Just haven’t caught up in a while.” I quickly accepted the invitation. My experience is unimaginable to some straight spouses, and for us, it didn’t come easily or quickly.
Sometimes we’re left with the choice between a bad decision and a worse decision, but things may not be as bad as they seem.  Click here to read

Are All Gay Men Narcissists?

Since my essay, “My Husband Is Having an Affair…With a Man,” was published, I have received many, many comments. Although some of the comments were supportive, many of them were challenging, such as this one: Sadly, most married, closeted gay men are manipulative, narcissistic con artists who only think about themselves with only occasional feelings of guilt and remorse. Their decision to leave or stay in their marriages is never out of consideration for the wife.
To read Digging Deeper with Straight Spouses – Part I, click here.

Bisexuality

I don’t know if I’m gay, straight or bisexual. How can I decide?  Kinsey saw sexuality as a continuum, with homosexuality on one end and other-sex attractions on the other; bisexuality fell somewhere in the middle. But where? How much bisexual attraction and/or behavior does it take to make a person bisexual? How do I know what I am?

You’ve asked a complicated question, and one that frankly has gotten me into some trouble in the past.  I was attacked (with some justification, I might add) by some members of the bisexual community who considered my comments in an essay on Psychology Today to be very “biphobic.” Never the less, I’ll stick my toe in that water again. Continue reading

When I Am with a Woman, I Want a Man

The following comment was submitted in response to my article “The Messy Realities of Bisexuality”: I am a male in my forties and have explored being sexual with men for about five years. I have a strong attraction to fit, muscular men but also to soft and sensual women. It seems that when I am in a relationship with a man, I think about what I am missing with a woman and vice versa.

Your comment is fairly representative of someone who is bisexual. But this kind of conflict exists for people who are gay and straight as well. Being committed to a relationship does not disconnect our attraction to others. We may still have powerful sexual urges to be with someone else. We just don’t need to respond to every sexual urge we experience. Continue reading

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