If I’m bisexual, does that mean that I’m non-monogamous too?

Dear Sex Educator,

I think I’m bisexual, but I am not sure. I am attracted to men and women, I know that; but I only want one lover at a time. Is it possible to be bisexual and monogamous? My friend says that if you are bisexual, it means you are lovers with both men and women at the same time. That doesn’t seem right.

Bisexuality and monogamy are two totally different choices and concepts. Bisexuality refers to the awareness that you may love and/or want to be intimate with persons of “either” gender. (“Either” presupposes that a person is one or the other, and leaves out the people who are transgendered, or variable in gender.) Bisexual people love and/or are intimate with any person, rather than persons only of a certain gender.

Monogamy is loving only one (mono) person at a time. Serial monogamy is loving only one person at a time, but having more than one of these two-person relationships in a row (for example, someone who dates a person for a few months, then breaks up with that person, then dates someone else for a few months, etc.).

Polyamory is loving many (poly) persons at one time. True polyamory is a consensual agreement between all concerned that you are all loving more than one person. It doesn’t count to consider yourself polyamorous when you are having an affair with someone else, but your current partner doesn’t know about or consent to your affair relationship.

To answer your question, it is definitely not the case that bisexual persons are necessarily polyamorous. Many bisexual persons are monogamous, just like anyone else can be monogamous. Your choice of love interest can be very different from the number of love interests that you choose.

More reading about bisexuality would help so that you have more information about the issues that you face, and what other bisexual people like you have done. If you’re looking for resources on the web, you can start with the Bisexuality Resource Center at here.

Best wishes. Hang in there – you are not alone, and you can live your life as any kind of bisexual person you want to be!

The Sex Educator