Married and bisexual

Dear Sex Educator,
I’m bisexual and my husband doesn’t know. I’m wondering how many are in the same situation? I love my husband dearly but feel like I need the love of a woman, too. I’m scared to do so, though, and wouldn’t even know how or where to start. Any advice would be appreciated.

From our experience in our store, and via correspondence, there are a lot of women who consider themselves to be bisexual, many of whom are married to men or in committed relationships with women. What you are also telling me is that you are bisexual and polyamorous – that is, that you are attracted to both men and women and also wish to have more than one partner at a time.

It is actually the polyamorous part of the equation that can be the most difficult to negotiate. Many men have no trouble with the notion that their partner is bisexual – in fact, many men find it a turn-on, at least in the abstract. We do know of several married couples where the bisexual woman has a female lover in addition to being married to her husband. The key is how secure your husband is in your relationship, and whether or not he would be threatened by your desire to have a lover in addition to him, regardless of that lover’s gender.

If you feel that you must act on this desire to have a woman lover in addition to your husband, I recommend that the first thing you do (after organizing your thoughts very carefully) is discuss this with your husband. The only way this kind of configuration succeeds is when all parties know what is going on and are comfortable with the arrangement. You will have to decide if you are looking for a woman lover for yourself, or someone you would want to “share” with your husband. That may make a difference to him. You should also think about whether you are seeking a woman to have only a sexual relationship with, or if you are seeking an emotional and sexual relationship with a woman. This will be important both to your husband and to any potential woman lover. Keep in mind that many women get emotionally involved as we get sexually involved, so you may find yourself falling in love regardless of what you planned.

If you and your husband agree that your having another lover is acceptable, you then will find the next challenge. There are definitely other bi-women out there who are looking for women lovers – some are married, some single. It will be important to find someone with whom you can communicate, and who is mature enough to accept that you are married and not available for a monogamous relationship. Being open from the beginning is critical. Some bisexual married women find partners through the personals section of their newspaper, and I would recommend that as a place to start. It is a good way to be able to be completely honest from the beginning, and to find someone who is looking for something similar to what you seek.

While this is a delicate situation, others have found their way through it with success. Keep communicating with your husband, and reassuring him that you love him and want him to remain your partner, so that he does not become so insecure that your marriage is in jeopardy. Keep communicating with everyone, and be willing to negotiate if there are any difficulties.

You might also seek out a bi support group. There are even some bi/married groups around the country (the Internet is a good place to find groups like these in your area). Try to talk with as many other women in your situation as you can, so you can learn about their strategies and develop your own.

The Sex Educator