We See You: An Open Thread for Bisexual Women Dating Men

Hello and welcome to this feelings atrium open thread situation, which today is dedicated bi or otherwise multi-gender attracted women. Sit down and have some lemon water or perhaps a muffin!

We get a lot of feedback and questions from bi women who date men and/or who are in long-term relationships with men; while there’s bucketfuls of information out in the world about dating men, it’s aimed at straight people and doesn’t touch upon a lot of what comes up in different-gender relationships for bisexual people, and queer women’s spaces tend not to discuss the issue in much depth. Many of our bi staff and writers who date men have the same issues and questions. So many women feel like there isn’t a space to talk about their experiences in this area. So! That brings us here; we’ve tried to make the space we want to see in the world in the form of this open thread. Obviously one open thread is not the be-all and end-all of discourse about bi women’s relationships with men, but it’s a start. We have some amazing bisexual staff members and contributors who will be here throughout the day to chat and commiserate and share experiences! We’ll be here probably until about 8 pm EST/5 pm PST, although maybe people will be able to hang out longer! Who knows!

A few things before we begin:

+ This hopefully goes without saying, but this is a space created primarily for bi and multi-gender attracted women! If that does not describe you, you are welcome to be here, but please don’t make the space about you; you’re here to listen and learn and possibly support, but not necessarily to weigh in. Thank you! If you are a non-bisexual person and your comments are deemed detrimental to the thread, they may be deleted, and you won’t be owed an explanation about why.

+ All that anyone here, both readers and staff, can really talk about with authority are their own experiences — it’s not possible to make sweeping objective statements about things as broad as identity or relationships, so please don’t a) try to make them yourself or b) assume others are trying to do so without good reason! Let’s all walk into this with the best faith in each other possible! Yeah!

+ Unfortunately, it seems like essentially a foregone conclusion that someone will at some point say something deliberately hurtful, instigatory and/or trollish, because this is the internet and a bisexual tree can’t fall in a forest without someone popping up to say “Well my bisexual ex-girlfriend….” When these comments inevitably arise, please don’t engage with them if they don’t seem in good faith, and instead report the comment to us so we can just delete it. To do so, just use Autostraddle Social messaging to contact me, Rachel, or email rachel [at] autostraddle [dot] com with a link to the comment in question!

OKAY THEN let’s go! What’s on your mind? How do you stay involved with queer community, especially when involved in relationships with men? How do these romantic relationships support and affirm you, and in what ways are they challenging? What have you been dying to talk about with other bi women? Tell us everything!

A reminder: this space is primarily for bisexual women. If you’re a non-bisexual person and your comment is deemed unproductive to the conversation for any reason, it may be deleted. Keep this in mind and please be respectful!

Before you go! Did you like what you just read? We keep Autostraddle majority free-to-read, but it isn't free to create! And yet most readers don't support this indie queer site. Will you be one of the people who do? A+ membership starts at just $4/month or $30/year and they literally keep us from closing. Will you join? Cancel anytime.

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Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. I’m really so glad there is a space finally for what can easily be one of THE most overlooked, invisible, and ignored groups of the lgbtq community. We are afforded so few chances to even feel like a part of it. So again, thanks!

  2. I’m really happy to see this thread. I have read through a good chunk but there’s so much more!
    I typically think of myself as queer before bi/pan but I have used them all depending on setting.
    This past November I agreed to be life partners with an awesome man and our wedding is in 14 days! At this point I’m feeling less awkward about being in this type of relationship at 20. I had seen myself settling down with a woman sometime in my 30s and instead ended up doing something much different. I think the fact that our partnership is non-monogamous and has been from the start is a huge help in that departmemt. At the same time I’m about to move to a rather conservative area in utah after attending a MA school dripping with queer/LGBT folk. I’m struggling with the idea of being partially closeted all the time even though it may be for the best. I’m not sire how I’d find queer folk in the area or how people in generally would react to the poly aspect of my life. It will be interesting for sure. I imagine at se point I Wil find who I’m looking for there and the rest won’t matter ao much.

  3. Reading through these posts as a male (some of us are good for more than changing tires) (ok, a few of us), I’m struck by two things that really make me kind of sad. One is that many of the bi women here find it so difficult to accept themselves and have a stable, ‘valid’ identity that doesn’t feel fragmented or otherwise awkward and ill-fitting.

    The other is that it appears to be very common for lesbian women not just to reject bi-women but to do so in such a venomous and bigoted way – to others with which they have something fundamental in common. I can understand lesbians becoming alienated and rejecting a world that does (or did) not accept them, but it seems like they are expanding the ugliness by marginalizing others.

    • Bi/pan/queer women get a lot of flack from people who aren’t bi. That includes some lesbians and some guys. Sometimes it comes in different forms — I might experience marginalization from a lesbian but then fetishization from a straight guy. So I wouldn’t point fingers at the lesbians too much here, Ray. :-) Everyone is capable of being dumb to people who aren’t just like them.

      • QG,

        I hear you. I do.
        The thing that really upsets me is that I have spent my entire adult life (so has hub, btw) being a visible advocate for feminism, I hope in a positive way – doing my part to clear the way for gay women (males too) I knew personally or being an advocate for feminist ideals. I can remember newspaper classifieds (yes, there was something before CL) with columns headed employment-male and employment-female. I don’t think feminism should be static, but there was much since then that I felt was destructive to women. Maybe I’m a fossil… I still see feminism as two things. One is the support and advice of women in overcoming the obstacles in a difficult world. The other is public advocacy regarding feminist issues, or gendered issues. The main things that emerged which I could never accept are: First, the communal victim-plus-entitlement attitude that is so destructive to anyone, not just women. Second, the invasion of the hard left academic ideologues, most of whom would not survive for ten minutes outside women’s studies departments and who continue to increase the distance between themselves and real life. This is so destructive for young women. The final one is perhaps the extension, the extent of venom, bigotry and hatred by gay women toward others. I did not spend so many years promoting women’s causes to empower people who act like this – quite the opposite. It disturbs me so deeply seeing how the women on this forum have been treated by women so antithetical to what I wanted to promote.

        • Your history as a feminist isn’t relevant to this thread. Coming in here as a male voice and then focusing specifically on the ways that women fail to support other women is what I was reacting to.

          I think a vital part of being an ally in spaces in which you hold the privilege is not trying to steer or direct the narrative of the conversation that you’re listening to. You run the risk of derailing it or making it about what you, the ally, thinks is important.

          This isn’t about you, or what you have done, or who you have tried to empower, or what conclusions you have come to about lesbians. It’s not about you at all.

    • My understanding is that this is a place for bi women dating men to talk to each other, without people who don’t fit that description weighing in.

      It seems unfair for a guy to come on here, point fingers and imply that marginalization against lesbians is in the past tense, when we’re not allowed on here to defend ourselves.

      If bi women want to talk to each other about their own experiences, great. But no one asked you to weigh in, Ray. If fact you were told not to.

      • No one told you to read, understand or accept what I wrote. If you feel it is necessary to exclude material that may offend others also free to ignore it… well, I hope no one else has such a demeaning view of women.

  4. I’m so glad to see this page on AS. As a bisexual woman I’ve always struggled with not feeling “bi enough.” Honestly, I feel my sexuality changes from year to year (or month to month, or hell, day to day), and I tend to swing from strong interest in men to strong interest in women. Like many of you have noted, I too feel like I have to validate my bisexuality by dating one gender or another depending on who I’ve been interested in the past. It’s so hard to explain to monosexuals!

    I’m currently single and have primarily seeking out other women, and one of my biggest issues is feeling like every time I notice/go out with/am attracted to a man, I’m somehow betraying the “gayer” side of me. As if dating a man somehow invalidates my identity as a queer woman and I’m turning my back on the queer community. Anyone else feel like a traitor?

    • This seems like it’s really common. I keep reading/hearing about this feeling of “being a traitor” to the LGBTQ community and it’s just a really strange concept to me because I haven’t experienced it yet, but I guess that’s because I’ve always just dated men (so far) so I guess I’ve always been a “traitor” lol. But I always think back to Erika Moen, the creator of the DAR comic, and how she started out thinking she was a lesbian and how it was her whole identity and then she ended up marrying a man and went through an entire identity crisis (with people from the lesbian community telling her she was a fraud basically because she “lied” about being a lesbian and how could she betray the community like that, etc.) until she realized that it was just as normal as falling in love with a woman. It is really not a betrayal to fall in love with anyone–I sincerely believe that–and whether or not you fall in love with someone of the same gender has nothing to do with the actual relationship you’re in. The person you love, man or woman, cis or trans, etc., is still going to be a whole person, complete, with their own likes and dislikes, their own hopes and dreams and interests. Their gender does not honestly matter–your attraction, their attraction, mutually, is what matters. I don’t get anyone who tries to destroy that. I don’t get it. And the feeling of “betrayal” is real, I’m not trying to invalidate that, but it is a worry. Nothing more. Worries are hard to get rid of, but you’re not betraying anyone by being who you are. People place assumptions on you–that is not your fault. People assume things all the time about way more things than just sexual orientation, so it’s not all that shocking they’d do it about that too. Please don’t let it get to you. Assumptions are never going away, but your self-worth, your enjoyment in being who you are, shouldn’t go away either! (Sorry this is so long/kinda preachy but I hope it makes sense!) All the good luck to you in finding someone to share your love with!

  5. I’ve been following this thread for almost a week now and it has been one of the most validating and community building weeks I’ve had in a longgg time! What a wonderful thread and how awesome to see it grow so naturally into such a supportive environment. I had never even heard of AutoStraddle before I saw this thread posted on fb, where I promptly shared it!

    I am a cis, queer woman who exclusively dated women for 15 years. I have been out about dating men for the past 8 years. However, I only started proudly using the term bi recently and am looking more into pan. Coming out as bi has been much more of an isolating experience for me than coming out as gay/lesbian/dykey femme was 23 years ago. But AS and this thread has alleviated some of that isolation. I honestly don’t even always feel connected to the bi community because, until this thread, I literally never came across other people who primarily dated the same gender and then started dating the opposite gender. It feels like it is mostly the opposite. But this thread has also shown me, regardless of each individuals path to coming out as bi, that many of us experience similar isolation, invalidation, invisibility. And have a great need for community around these shared experiences.

    The Queer community was always a place of comfort for me. Anywhere I moved I would seek it out and have instant community. But since I decided to acknowledge my full sexuality of being attracted to more than one gender, it is almost like I lost a family. When I first came out as bi I was told by a lesbian cis friend “well, isn’t that just a phase?!” I was also told by a lesbian trans friend that her ex had tried that (dating men) and it didn’t work out that well for her. I wanted to say back that 15 years of dating women hadn’t worked out yet for me! But I was just taken aback. It is probably not fair, since people are people and we are all fallible, but I think I falsely assume those who have experienced isolation and discrimination will be more aware!!

    It is like by coming out as bi I entered a foreign island floating around all by itself. And when I actually dated a cis straight man it brought up even more issues for me. It is extremely weird for me to be seen as straight when walking down the street hand in hand with a man. And I definitely felt weird going to pride with him. I think that those things would have been easier if I felt he had any awareness of his privilege as a straight, cis man. If he had any understanding that as people looked at us he was getting complete validation for his straight maleness. Whereas I was just fading into the background. This feeling is how I know that “privilege” is not what I am gaining or experiencing when with a man. He didn’t have any issue with me being bi but he also showed no interest in understanding. It also brought up a lot of challenges for me regarding those typical gender role expectations. I am a feminist that actually likes some chivalry, but it has a different feel when from a man vs. a woman. I think that genuine chivalry comes from a place of wanting to care for someone simply because you care about them, not from a place of thinking the other person is not capable of taking care of themselves. With men, it is just more likely to be the latter. Though, I have certainly run into issues of, I’m not sure what to call it, a kind of internalized sexism maybe, that more “butch” women will project onto more “femme” women in the Queer community.

    In retrospect, I learned a lot from that relationship about what I would need from anyone I am to be with in the future and specifically a man in terms of being bi. I really need there to be some awareness of privilege. Both male and straight privilege but also the privilege that exists in the LG part of the LGBT. There is very little discussion within the LGBT community that the people of power within that community, as in the people who dictate where funding goes, what kinds of events will take place, who is welcomed at those events, what political campaigns get funding etc. That those people are the gay and lesbian people in the community.

    I never really want to put limitations on who I’m open to being attracted to, it is one of the things I love about being bi! But lately I’ve been seriously thinking of putting the intention out to the universe for a bi/pan, feminist, queer person to come my way. Be them male, female, non-binary, trans, cis etc.

    This thread has really opened my eyes to the breath and depth of our community of wonderful bi/pan/queer folks. It has helped me learn even more about myself and the experiences of others.

    I have seen other posts of people suggesting this thread be continued in a more permanent way and I think that is a great idea! With over 1,000 posts there surely is a need!! So happy to have found Auto Straddle, so happy to be here :)

  6. Hello!
    I’m really glad this forum exists. I’ve identified as a straight ally most of my life, I only recently realized and started identifying as bi, I’m in a long term relationship with a guy, and therefore I haven’t really faced a lot of homophobia or biphobia. All of these factors make me feel like I’m not ‘bi enough’ or don’t have a place in the lgbtqaip/mogai community.

    • Coming at this really late – but I wanted to assure you that if you respect women or non-males as legitimate possible romantic partners, even if you never date them due to life circumstances, you are definitely “bi enough.”

      I spent years identifying as a straight ally and avoided “intruding” on spaces meant for LBGT folks until I realized that I had been deceiving myself the whole time and cutting myself off from a vital support system. It took a relocation to another area before I was brave enough to join an LGBT organization as an out bisexual woman, and two years later, I live with some of the wonderful people I met through my work in the community, I am in the leadership of said LGBT organization, and I feel happier, freer, and more supported than I ever have before.

      You don’t need to experience “oppression” to identify as bisexual or a member of the LGBT community. I hope there will be a day when none of us ever experience it. And, because homophobia and biphobia are often systemic and subtle rather than blatant, if you think about it, you probably have experienced them. In fact, it may be fear of biphobia that is keeping you from feeling as through you have a place in the LGBT community.

      This whole ramble is basically to say that it makes me really sad when I think about all the bisexuals-in-hiding feeling as though they don’t belong when they have so much to add to the LGBT community. We’re stronger with you.

  7. So, I’ve seen a lot of people online use fantasy animals (especially unicorns) to metaphorically/symbolically talk about/represent/make points about identities that are made invisible or called “not real” (ace, bi, pan people, etc)

    Personally, as a bi person, I really like metaphorically aligning myself with dragons.
    1) Bi people are “greedy”
    2) Bi people “aren’t real”
    Conclusion: Bi people are dragons.

    For me, it’s a way to take harmful stereotypes and turn them into something funny/better. Plus, I really like dragons.

    What about you, fellow amazing, magical people?

    • Amusingly enough, I just claimed “Queen of Dragons” as my title at the last ritual I attended. Came as a bit of a surprise, for all that I’ve felt draconian an awful lot the last several years. I identify as pan, though, so…am I a dire dragon because I’m extra greedy? :D

      Also, to continue the dragon thing, dragons are also notoriously picky about what goes into their hoard. Some dragons only hoard specific things, some dragons hoard things of a certain quality, etc. So it’s not that us fencewalkers will sleep with/date *anybody*; there are definitely still standards, even if we don’t particularly care which tin you come in.

      All that being said, I’m going to go ahead and confess that Captain Jack Harkness is also my spirit animal. 0.0 Can I have two?

      • You can have whatever you want! :)
        In my head, I’d like to create a whole pantheon of invisible-identity-mythical beings.
        (For example, in my head, Ace->unicorn, because unicorns are associated with virginity). But I stick with just me and dragons, because it’s not my place to tell anyone else what they should use to represent themselves.

  8. Ahhh this is awesome! I’m a bi girl who’s just started dating a bi guy (they’ve just started identifying as nb and using they/them pronouns but still feel closer to male than anything else and is happy to be referred to as my boyfriend so I figure I’m ok to leave a comment here! ) Anyway, since they’re bi too it’s actually really great, bc we have such a mutual understanding of what it means to be bi and difficulties we face etc, which would definitely not be the same if I was dating a straight guy. The only negative thing about being a female dating someone perceived to be male is that I feel like I’m going to be perceived as het and in a het relationship (even tho neither of those things are true) even by people who know I’m bi. I also have a preference for girls but I’ve never dated any so I hope that I may get that opportunity sometime in the future (although I think maybe part of that is also internalised biphobia that I’m not really bi unless I’ve dated a woman. But also bc women are really great). Anyway this is a fantastic forum and yeah I’d l to talk about this more. (Also if you happen to be on tumblr and want to talk to/follow me there, my url is buildarocketboys)

  9. I’ve known I was attracted to women for a long time now, and I’ve had encounters, but I didn’t actually date a female until this last year. It felt so right that I thought I may never go back to men, and I questioned whether I was attracted to them at all. I recently told my parents about this woman I was dating, but we stopped seeing each other soon after, so it seemed like bad timing. My family is very open and supportive, but I can tell that they’re struggling to understand because I’ve had many boyfriends since high school. It’s difficult because I’m still sorting out my feelings and how I want to label myself. What I know is that I am absolutely into females, and sometimes males, but I think I may go back to guys out of habit/laziness.

    Now – I’ve met an amazing guy and I love the person that he is. However, he is against polyamory and I just don’t think I’m done exploring my sexuality.

    I also have no idea how to explain bisexuality to my parents. They seem to understand the concept of lesbian-ness, but I feel like it would be too much to tell them I’m into both. My mom is very traditional about male and female roles, and never let me share a room with a guy, etc. I don’t want her to feel that way about me and women now too. I’m very picky with the people I like, so it’s not like all of a sudden I want to be with every single woman, just like I don’t want to be with every single man. Why does that always seem to be an assumption when ladies admit they’re not hetero?

  10. I am a 19-year old panromantic homosexual cisgender female dating a straight cisgender male. We’ve been together almost two years now. About a month in, I told him I was bisexual and he responded better than I ever imagined. He told me how he used to date a bisexual girl and that one of his best friends is bisexual. He was completely comfortable with it. I felt the need to say bisexual rather than panromantic homosexual because I didn’t know if he would understand how my lack of physical sexual attraction to him isn’t important. I can be sexually aroused by both his sexual arousal and the fact that I love who he is. Just because penis revolts me doesn’t mean I wont get over it to show him how much I love him. The only weak spot in our relationship is his doubt in how much I want to be with him. He knows I like women primarily over men and that I have even had crushes on women while being with him. I am open to polyamory; however, I know that if the crushes aren’t acted on, then nothing will grow. He has my promise that I won’t act on any crushes because we are both satisfied with our monoamorous relationship. He still has doubt, though. This is my first ever relationship. It is not his. He has quite a few more relationships including a one-night stand, a hookup at a party, a year-long relationship, and some friends with benefits. He is afraid that since I have never been with a woman that eventually I will want to know what I don’t have so badly that I will either be unfaithful to him or break up. This is partly true. I know I want to be with a woman in my lifetime. I think it will happen. The reason I say that, though, is my belief that any relationship I have will not last my whole life. When people live with each other for too long, they eventually can’t stand living together anymore. I don’t think you should fight through this hard stage because of love that used to be much stronger. People do change. So should relationships. I’m not saying give up when it gets hard, I’m saying leave when it becomes unbearable. If it never becomes unbearable, so be it. Congratulations. You were meant to be. But in this way, I cannot say the promise “I will love you until I die” because I can’t say that’s true. We should never promise the future. I can only say that I love him now and have no intention of leaving him. He can’t make himself fully believe me, though. He has done things that show he’s trying to push back the part of me that loves women. He has told me, “Since you’re dating a man, you can’t label yourself as bisexual. You’re straight” and “Put something else on. That looks too lesbian”. He has also looked through my phone a couple times, although he ended up telling me when he did. He is constantly scared that I’m looking for something else even though he wants to believe I’m telling him the truth. My sexuality is something we’ve actually talked through quite a bit, so I don’t know how else I can prove to him what I feel.

    • That sounds like a really hard place for you both to be in.

      It may be that you can’t prove to him what you feel, and that he can’t bring himself to trust without proof. I’m not sure it’s possible to prove things like this in any relationship – to some extent, a person has to choose to trust.

      That said, I have some experience feeling insecure in relationships, and trying to restore my own sense of security in unhealthy ways. I recognize some of my own patterns in your guy’s behavior. So this is my possible explanation for how he’s treating you: He wants you to prove to him that he’s safe from being left or cheated on. If you’re feeling insecure, or worried about the relationship, you will try to convince him that you’ll be faithful. Your effort to “fix” the problem will help him feel secure that the relationship matters to you. But that only lasts as long as you’re trying anxiously to prove that you will stay in the relationship. The way he’s talking to you is his attempt to keep you worried about him and about the relationship, so you keep reassuring him.

      He may not actually want to hurt you. He’s trying to find a way to be less afraid of being hurt. He’s using unhealthy methods to get that need met. I don’t know if you can change this by talking it over with him. You could set hard limits (“if you talk down my sexual orientation again, I’m leaving” or “I’ve done everything I can do. You have to decide if you trust me or not. If not, we can’t continue this relationship.”) You have to be prepared for the possibility that you’ll see the same concerns arise in a new way. I can tell this relationship is important to you, so I hope he will treat you better, but it’s possible that this will only stop if the relationship ends.

      I hope you see my comment. This isn’t happening because of your orientation. It’s happening because he’s insecure and because he resorts to emotional manipulation to feel more secure.

    • This does sound really hard.

      “He has told me, ‘Since you’re dating a man, you can’t label yourself as bisexual. You’re straight’ and ‘Put something else on. That looks too lesbian'”

      To me, this is completely 100% not okay. I’m sorry that he feels insecure, and I’m not saying it’s never okay to try to help a partner with their insecurity. But his insecurity cannot justify this behavior.

      He’s telling you how to label your sexual orientation? He’s telling you what NOT TO WEAR? What makes him think he has any right to expect you not to look “too lesbian”? Looking “too lesbian” makes him think you want to cheat on him with women? Hmm. What if he said, “Put something else on. That looks too slutty. It makes me think you’re going to cheat on me with another man”? That’s not okay…right? Your sexual orientation – the fact that he’s specifically worried about you leaving him for a woman – does not in any way justify him controlling what you wear.

      I know you love him and probably don’t want to see him as doing things that aren’t okay. But this isn’t about whether or not he’s a good person. It’s about what you deserve. You shouldn’t have to be this worried about proving yourself, you know? <3

      I hope you'll keep talking to us. We're here for you!

    • Hi! I discovered this autostraddle thread long after it got all this action, but have found so much comfort in it nonetheless. I’m not sure if you’ll see my comment this many years later, but I wanted to comment because I resonated with the relationship setup you described. I have often struggled with labels and knowing how to describe myself. But, I, like you am a woman dating a cisgender man (mine is straight) and while I have identified as bisexual for several years now, I really resonated with the label you had used – panromantic homosexual.

      My attraction to men has always been more emotionally and romantically driven, while my attraction to other genders feels more sexually obvious. As time has gone on and my relatio ship with my boyfriend has become more long term and permanent feeling (almost 3 years now) I have started to realize how sexually I feel more homosexual than anything. Perhaps I am sexually fluid, because I spent the bulk of the beginning of my relationship with him surprised at just how sexually attracted I could be to a guy, and now it feels like that has faded away once again. I often have struggled with knowing what to call myself or whether it’s fair of me to call him my boyfriend when what I do with him sexually is more because of my love for him than innate sexual attraction.

      I have struggled so hard with this because I also don’t find much interest in penis or PiV sex. And in general, I find intimacy all together a bit difficult for me. I have thought at times that it means I can’t be with him, that our relationship is doomed, or that we must breakup, but reading your comment made me feel better.

      My boyfriend is well aware of my feelings and the nuances of them, and he’s accepting, so I am happy for that. But it often hurts to both have my true self unseen by those in my life and to wonder if I’m allowed to remain with the person I fell so hard in love with when my sexual interests have shifted and become more clear to me.

      If you see this somehow, just know you identifying yourself the way you did means a lot to me.

  11. I am so thankful for this thread, I was brought up in an incredibly intense christian church so it wasn’t until long after I left there that I realised I even liked other women. Looking back on it now I was definitely in love with my teenage best friend and I had no idea because I was taught to suppress those feeling. Although i’ve dated women i’ve only ever had relationships with men and it sucks being bundled into this straight category like this whole part of me either doesn’t exist, is ignored or just dumpted in the “straight” pile. I feel at home reading these comments and knowing other women have felt the same as I do, let’s work together so that less and less women have to!

  12. I’m bi/fluid and sometimes a woman, but I’ve never dated. I’m eighteen.

    Here are some examples of biphobia I’ve gotten:

    “I feel like they’re just going to pick a gender eventually”
    “You can freely access straight privilege”
    “You’re pan if you’re attracted to all genders, bi means two”
    “You’re sexually available to men”
    “Bi women can’t call themselves butch or femme or dykes or they’re appropriating lesbian culture”
    “Het(erosexual) relationship”
    “Straight passing privilege”
    “Het-partnered bisexuals”
    “Bi pussy is for straight men”
    “Stop saying the word sapphobia, it’s appropriative of lesbian culture”
    “Bi women are just straight girls who thought a celebrity was hot once”
    “Bi people don’t experience homophobia”
    “You will never experience the true brunt of homophobia”
    “Bi teenage girls aren’t valid if they’re in a het relationship”
    “Lesbophobic bisluts”
    “You can’t be a baby dyke, you’re not a lesbian”
    “Stop saying monosexism, it’s homophobic”

    And last but not least:

    “When have gay people ever hated bi people??????”

    Most of the above biphobia was said to me by gay people.

  13. I’m a little late to the party, but I’d like to contribute anyway. I’m so glad this forum exists.

    This is probably going to be a bit of a ramble.

    I’m a bisexual woman in a long-term relationship with a straight man who I plan to stay with. He’s very loving and supportive – he was the very first person I came out to as bisexual. I’ve never been in a relationship with a woman, but over the course of my life, I’ve had crushes on and fallen in love with more women than I have with men. I spent most of my life keeping that a secret, unfortunately, and never having the courage to flirt or pursue something more with a woman because of it.

    I’m still not out to most people because I’m worried about what they might say or think. Mostly, I’m worried that they won’t think I’m *really* bisexual. I don’t care as much about what straight people think, but it would be easier if I knew for certain that I could find support in the queer community… and so I find myself caring way more about what the queer community thinks.

    My mentor and one of my closest friends is a lesbian, and I’m still not out to her because I’m worried she won’t understand or that she won’t believe me. Or that she’ll believe me but expect some kind of disclaimer about the privilege I experience because I’m bisexual. We’ve known each other for about seven years, and she has played a huge role in helping me accept my sexuality, even though she has no idea. I’d like to tell her, if only so that I could thank her, but I’m still so afraid. I feel like there is this huge gulf between us because I am just too afraid to come out to her. I plan to work on it. Squad goals, or whatever. If anyone has any tips on how to do this, input is much appreciated.

    I love my current man-partner, but I know he will never 100% understand my struggles with my bisexual identity. He says I shouldn’t care what other people think, that it doesn’t matter if they don’t know I’m bisexual and just assume I’m straight. He’s just trying to be supportive and convince me that I shouldn’t be concerned about other people’s perceptions of me, but he doesn’t understand the erasure part. So that’s one awk part of being bisexual but being in a relationship with a straight man.

    • Uhm, hello, are we the same person or what?!

      Jokes aside, this thread has changed my life. It has given me the courage to come out to my partner (explicitly, using the word BISEXUAL, and offering additional explanations), who sounds very much like yours. Seriously, your story sounds so much like mine, the only difference being the lesbian friend. One of my oldest friends is lesbian, but she wasn’t a factor in my sexuality finding quest. But just like you, I feel wary of coming out to her because I’m certain she’d throw the hetero privilege back in my face. While I don’t deny my privilege, it also erases me.

      Do you plan on coming out to close friends/family? I thought of coming out to a very close friend of mine and maaaaaybe to my mother, but I’m not sure how it will pan out. I’m still unsure of how to proceed.

      • I’ve come out to two people – my partner and my best friend. My best friend recently moved far away, so we’ve been writing letters to each other. I wrote her a long letter about my sexuality and erasure and all that, and she responded favorably. I haven’t really “come out” to anyone else.

        I’m “out” on social media, in that my Facebook lists that I’m interested in men and women (but I doubt anyone has ever bothered to look at that), and I often post articles about bisexuality (although I’ve never posted about MY sexuality). I occasionally tweet about my sexuality since coming out to my best friends, but the majority of those people are acquaintances at best. That’s been helpful for me – being “out” mostly to people who I wouldn’t care about losing if my sexuality was an issue for them.

        I’m not out to my family, and I don’t plan on coming out to them unless the opportunity arises. I don’t see them very often, nor do I have a very close relationship with any of them, so it isn’t currently causing me A LOT of grief, although I do occasionally endure slightly homophobic remarks from them that aren’t intentionally directed at me. (Yay, holidays.)

        I’m not out at work, either, in part because I’m afraid the woman I share my office with is going to find a way to no-homo herself out of getting lunch with me on the daily. The other reason I’m not out at work is because that’s how I know my lesbian mentor, and if I’m going to start being super open about my bisexuality at work, I’d want her to be the very first person to know.

        The rule that I recently made for myself, though, is that when I do meet new people from new social groups, that I be open about my bisexuality if the opportunity arises. If a conversation comes up relating to sexuality or hot ladies, I try my best to make sure I comment on it so that they know or at least can guess.

        I’m sorry you also feel afraid to come out to your lesbian friend, but I’m glad knowing I’m not the only person who feels that way. I wish I could give you more advice about coming out! I’m still working on it, too. :)

    • Kate, I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story! Like Grumpy, I feel like you told my story too, in many ways. I’m married to an incredible man who has been nothing but supportive since I came out to him two years ago. I too have an incredible lesbian mentor (a close friend of his from high school) whom I haven’t talked to about my orientation. I’m also terrified about coming out to my closest girlfriends because I’m worried they’ll think I’m sexually attracted to them and that our relationship will change because of it. I’ve come out almost entirely to strangers, while most of those closest to me, aside from those I’ve met recently, don’t know. All of this has made me feel incredibly lonely and isolated. I have no idea where to start looking for queer companionship, whether I’ll be accepted by the greater queer community, and how important it is to come out to my family and friends.

      Have you (or Grumpy) found any answers since December? Does anyone else have any meaningful advice they can share for navigating this complicated process?

      • Hi Audrey!

        Since December lots of things have changed with me. Apart from my partner, I came out to my mother a few months ago. She cried a lot and asked me why I didn’t trust her to tell her earlier, but she told me she loved me, so I guess it didn’t go too bad. We haven’t really talked about it since then, but nothing has changed in the way we interact. I’m still wary of telling my dad cause he is the more close-minded of them, but I might do it at some point in my life.

        I also came out to my lesbian friend and it went fine. It feels like we have a more honest relationship now, so I’m glad I told her, but we don’t live in the same country so we don’t see each other too often. I haven’t told my other friends yet and I’m not sure I will ever make an official announcement, but I am done hiding, so I will keep going to LGBTQ events and if they show up on my FB feed and people get confused, I don’t care.

        So I guess you could try sniffing out which friend is the most open-minded? If you are not in danger of bodily harm or anything more serious than losing a friend (which I’m not saying isn’t serious! it’s just less dangerous than idk getting assaulted or something), I think you should take a chance on them. If you are close to them and care about them and want to keep being close, I think you should do it. What about the lesbian mentor? Do you think she’s a potential person you could come out to?

        I don’t have any close friends that I really wanted to share this with, all of my friends are so painfully straight and heteronormative that I really feel you on that isolation part. What I did was to go to an AS meetup, where I met some really cool and like-minded people and I am gradually making friends. If you have an AS group nearby, I highly recommend that you try it out. I am very shy and quiet and at first it was so intimidating to go by myself, but it was worth it. I felt so weird when I mentioned my boyfriend (and I still try to keep talk about him to a minimum, at least when I meet the people the first time), but I think I’m being paranoid, as I didn’t feel any judgement coming from anyone. Queer community is priceless, it has brought me a lot of inner peace and a sense of belonging that I hadn’t felt before. I mean, don’t imagine that I have a BFFs and we hang out/chat all the time or anything like that. Just going to random events with “my” people has felt so liberating and amazing.

        And if you need support or someone to talk to, you can always message me :)

  14. This is such an amazing thread! I feel like this might be a safe place to share my story and I would love to hear thoughts from anyone who feels like they can help.

    I am a cis woman who identified as heterosexual growing up. I was very clearly interested in boys, still am, and never really felt romantic attraction to girls/never really thought about it. I was introduced to “gay” as a concept when I was younger and I did take a step back to consider if I might be gay but I liked boys too much and the thought of kissing a girl at the time freaked me out (whether that was because I genuinely wasn’t attracted to women at the time or because I had a lot of internalized biphobia, I don’t know). When I first heard about bisexuality, the opinions associated with it were that it was people who couldn’t make up their mind yet, which thankfully I came to realize was not true. I wondered if I might be bisexual but I thought that since I was certainly attracted to boys and maybe only slightly attracted to some girls that I didn’t qualify as being bi-enough so I continued to identify as “mostly heterosexual.”

    I became involved with the GSA in my high school and following high school I worked as a counsellor at a camp for queer youth for three summers. Spending time in queer communities like camp was really confusing to me because on the one hand I felt so much more comfortable being in spaces where queerness was being recognized and where the oppressive forces of patriarchy/heteronormativity/cisnormativity were being actively questioned and resisted but I also remained quiet and felt a little outside of things in these communities because I regarded these spaces as designated for people who really needed them and not for people like me who could survive without being oppressed in the cisnormative/heteronormative outside world.

    During this time and ever since I have continued to question whether or not I truly am heterosexual. First I realized that I was not just attracted to cis men but also trans men and transmasculine people. Then I started noticing an attraction to butch/masculine women. I even noticed that I sometimes found femme women to be attractive, both romantically and physically! Recently I have been noticing a strong sexual attraction to some women that I haven’t really felt before either. This is all super confusing for me because I’d never had any of these feelings growing up and I always wonder if I’m actually attracted to these people or if I am just appreciative of their good looks or fetishizing queerness. I do understand that sexuality is fluid and that you can have different attractions to different kinds of people at different times in your life, but because my attraction to men has always been so lazer clear to me and mostly unwavering it seems strange to me that the rest of it would be so unclear? Is this all just internalized biphobia or do these feelings of hesitancy about dating and having sex with people other than men have value and mean that I’m actually not attracted to them?

    I find my love and sex life a little hard to navigate sometimes because while I know the heterosexual script and can play it out quite well I am also trying to navigate a new polyamorous identity that distances me from the mainstream monogamous heterosexual dating scene. I’m also very much a feminist and I find it difficult to find men who are genuinely dedicated to equity in bed and in the rest of the relationship. When it comes to queer dating spaces I feel REALLY out of place because they tend to cater to gay people and I think I would feel like I was taking up space or that I was not queer enough because of how unfamiliar I am with queer dating and also because of how femme and unassertive I am.

    Does anyone share any of these experiences or have any thoughts to offer?

    • I, too, identified as heterosexual for a long time. In large part, this was because I was attracted to men (this was laser clear to me, especially since everyone EXPECTED me to ONLY be attracted to men), and that made it easier for me to misinterpret and sometimes outright ignore the feelings I had for women. Although dating exclusively men when I was younger conferred the benefit of not being the target of homophobia (in other words, passing privilege), it did over time cause lots of damage to my mental health because I was unwilling to accept who I was. Eventually, though, I started to acknowledge my attraction to women (romantically and physically), and now its a part of my identity that I do not doubt at all (although others might). When I identified so forcefully as straight, my feelings for women confused me. I always questioned what they meant. But once I began to identify myself as bisexual, all of those confusing feelings became crystal clear. I’d say try on the label for a while, explore your feelings for women, and see if things become a little less murky. And remember that the only person who can define your sexuality is YOU — not anyone else.

    • “During this time and ever since I have continued to question whether or not I truly am heterosexual.” I could make this exact same statement except with one change: “I have continued to question whether or not I truly am queer/lesbian/bisexual”. I think for me the older I have gotten (I am 30 now) the more in some ways I question my sexuality. And I think part of this has to do with being in a relationship for 3 years now with a cis-straight man. When we have problems sometimes I think “I wouldn’t have this same problem if I was dating a woman” but then I also question whether it’s just that the two of us aren’t good together regardless of our genders.

      I think the older I get the more I also find how much internalized biphobia/homophobia I have. For example, there was a woman I had a pretty big crush on and I kept asking myself if I should do something about it. So one day at the gym I made myself run a really hard workout and I told myself “I can’t say anything to her if I can’t do this workout”. But when I was able to do it, I found myself almost being disappointed. Not because I didn’t want to talk to her, but because I think I still have a lot of internalized oppression going on.

      Or even recently when I signed up for A camp, I am excited to go, but I find myself being embarrassed when I tell other people about it. Or feeling kind of ashamed and wondering if I will even fit in at all with the queer community. Will I always feel like an outsider?

      Anyway, I wanted to write this to you because reading your post reminded me of myself in some ways. There is always this question for me about whether I am really queer, but more and more I think that I have this question NOT because I am confused about my sexuality but because I still have a lot of internalized homophobia to work through. Good luck to you!

        • Amazing. It was amazing. I felt affirmed, accepted, included. The first full day began with a workshop titled “There’s Never Been a Better Time to be Bisexual on a Mountaintop”. It was great to share space and stories with other queer women and gender-non-conforming people who fall into the bisexual spectrum. Made me feel like this space is my space too. I came back home feeling refreshed and renewed and my boyfriend has been very happy for my experience. I talked to many people who have in the past or currently are dating men and we could be open about it. It’s the first time I haven’t felt anxiety about that in a queer space. The first time I haven’t felt like I had to prove my queerness. It felt really damn good.

  15. Bisexual women dating men online at http://www.top10bidatigsites.com. You should not be shy as a bisexual. The society has accepted us. Reading said reviews, it will not be that complicated to make a decision regarding this aspect of your life. The truth is that online dating is much more fun because you can talk to more people at the same time, without actually needing to commit to anyone. You can decide to meet with one or more of these online companions when you feel ready to make this step.

  16. This thread is fantastic. It’s so helpful to see what others think and feel – and to know I’m not crazy or alone :) I’m also thrilled to see that there are (at least one :) non-bi identifiers on here trying to learn more. Wonderful.

  17. Hello, I (an estrogen-based organism) have dug up this 1yo open thread apparently to say into the ether that I have just left a marriage with a woman and have acquired a part-time-live-in, casual, male companion. The biggest struggle so far has been his “this is like sleeping with a virgin” accusations, but really, they didn’t teach het foreplay in sex ed. It’s not accurate in porn (duh). Guys don’t get wet?! Of course, but wut? So high maintenance.

  18. Not sure if folks are still following this, but I thought I’d post cause there’s not many other spaces where I can get advice or even share about this! I’m queer/pansexual and currently dating a cisman. When we first started dating I had just ended my first relationship with a woman and actually had decided I was only going to be looking to date women at that time. Attraction showed up where it did & I made it very clear to him that it was a big priority for me to be able to continue to date women because prior to that relationship that had just ended, I had never dated women before (though had wanted to for years). He was very understanding and suggested we try non-monogamy. I’ve never been interested in non-monogamy before though in order to meet my needs I thought I’d consider trying it. Four months later neither of us has done anything with others except go on a date or two. I’m becoming very uncomfortable with the idea of him sleeping with other people or giving others the affection he’s giving me and also don’t feel like I have the time or energy to date more than one person even though when I think about never dating a woman again I freak out a bit. I love him and want to deepen with him and I also am a bit afraid to fully step into a monogamous relationship with a man, for fear that it would last forever or I’d never be able to date a woman again (my mind has drastic inclinations). I’m basically a ball of confusion and trying to access what I’m really needing or wanting. Is anyone else in a similar situation? Advice/thoughts much appreciated!

    • I’m in kind of a similar situation. I’ve been out as queer for 10 years, mostly (like, almost exclusively) dating women, then fell for this guy who I’ve been dating now for almost a year. At the beginning of our relationship I wanted to keep things open because I was feeling those feelings of…but what if I am never with a woman again! I still have those thoughts from time to time but I just like this guy so much! I decided for me, I don’t want to give up what I have with him out of the fear of missing out on other things in the future. So do what makes you happy, y’know? And never let anyone tell you you’re not queer enough.

  19. Hello. I found this on bi visibility day :-)

    I had a few snogs / fumbles with women at university (among a load of men), but went back to dating and have now been married to a man for a long time, and went back to seeing myself as straight. However after a couple of pregnancies I started feeling much more strongly attracted to women again. I’m into ff erotica, but haven’t and won’t see any women as I’m married.

    Question is this – has anyone else felt subtle shifts in their sexuality related to pregnancy or any other factor?

    I’ve now comfortably settled on the bi label, but it is terribly difficult to come out in a positive way. Fortunately my husband is 100% committed to me and understanding about my sexuality, and I’m still totally into him.

  20. Help! I have identified as a lesbian for the last 7 years and dated exclusively women and now I’m dating a man, which is shocking to me. I’ve been living completely out and openly as a lesbian all this time, so now I’m feeling like I need to come out again…?! Because my facebook says “interested in women” and that’s going to become confusing when me and this man go facebook official. Basically, I’ve lived so openly and proudly as a lesbian that when my facebook says i’m in a relationship with a man, people are going to think it’s a joke. What to do?!?!?!?! Why am I so nervous about doing this???

    • Hey girl. I’m with you. And I just found this thread, so I hope by now you have found some peace with the situation. I have the same story, and it’s so confusing and you feel like there is no support for you. But here is the important thing to remember: own your own truth. People who love you, will listen and support you even if they don’t personally understand and relate. I have had so many struggles with the ways other people see me now (both straights and gays) but what is important to remember is that it’s your life, your happiness, and your identity. And sexuality is fluid, and anyone who judges you is not worthy of your time. Good luck out there.

    • I stumbled on this old thread and scrolled all the way down and saw your comment and I’m so glad I did! I don’t know if you’ll even see this, or if your situation is still at all like it was when you wrote this or if anything I have to say will be helpful. But I was just so relieved to see other people who have had such a similar experience to mine, and maybe you or someone else who finds this will be too.

      A year and a bit ago I was in pretty much exactly the same situation you described. I was out to everyone as a lesbian, and only dating women. And then I fell in love with my best friend, a man. I was so worried about what it implied for my own identity and how my friends would react that it kind of put a damper on the early part of our relationship. But as it turns out, after the initial surprise, no one really cared? We all went on with our lives (except an ex of mine who was also a fwb to both of us who flipped out when we got together, but it had nothing to do with his gender).

      We’ve been together since November of 2015, and he affirms my queerness and our relationship is wonderful and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m still attracted to women, and not interested in men in general. I also still struggle a bit with how to identify, and I usually say something like “gay with an exception” but then I worry about internalized biphobia and then I usually give up for a while. Basically, the point I’m trying to make here is that nearly all of the things I’ve struggled with because of this whole thing have come from myself and not from other people. Friends just want you to be happy! If your friends are anywhere near as rad as mine, I think the same will be true for you too.

    • Rachael, I know so many women in my own bi community who have your same experience; a lot of people talk about the experience of “coming out twice.” Some research on bisexual women shows that about a third of us identify as lesbian before coming out as bisexual, so you have a lot of company. It might help to get connected to your local bi community offline, if you can find one.

      I also recommend Bi Women Quarterly (http://biwomenboston.org/newsletter), which is a fantastic publication entirely created by bi women and including all kinds of stories. I browse their archives online myself when I am feeling alone.

      Finally, I haven’t read it, but there’s a new YA novel by the out bi author Julie Murphy about a young women who identifies as a lesbian and then starts to date a man. I’ve heard it’s good!

    • Rachael, I completely relate. I was out as a lesbian for 16 years before I came out as bi. I definitely have had to come out twice. When I came out as being attracted to women my attitude was very much that if anyone had a problem with it it was their problem. I pretty much have the same attitude now. Though, I will admit, biphobia from lesbians and gay men is much more difficult for me to deal with than from straight people. I’m still working through that and it has caused me to put some distance between myself and the queer community at large. Meanwhile, however, I keep finding a greater and greater bi community.

    • Just wanted to say I feel ya. I used the word ‘gay’ to self-describe even though I’m more fluid than that. But if dating women for so long and coming out has taught me anything, it’s that other people’s opinions don’t matter. Don’t put yourself in a box to meet other people’s expectations. Help other people expand their understandings of sexuality. I found it helpful to post about sexual fluidity and to let my friends know that even though I was dating a dude, I was still hella queer. I definitely did need to come out ‘again’ to some people but mostly people who are open and accepting get that bisexuality is a thing and that people fall for people.

  21. I identify as bisexual, and while I have had sexual experiences with women, and find myself attracted to women in a way that is plain and undeniable to me, I have never dated/ been in a relationship with a woman. I am married to a man, and deeply committed to him, and I’m monogamous. I am out to him and a few queer friends, and feel satisfied with that level of openness, but there are times when I feel I am “playing a part” to make things easier for myself when people assume I’m straight. I also feel like I’m ignoring a sense of responsibility to present myself as I really am to the world… I generally don’t like people knowing my personal affairs, and I almost feel like coming out more fully would leave me vulnerable and feeling like I’ve opened myself up to an invasion of privacy. If anyone can relate, I would love to hear your thoughts.

    • Hi laurel! I can definitely relate, but o think ultimately your responsibility is primarily to yourself here. If being out to your husband and a few close friends is what feels right, then you’re right where you need to be! But if that starts to feel stifling or you start to feel like you’re hiding from people you don’t want to hide yourself from, then maybe it will be time to reassess?

  22. Y’all, I got tears in my eyes just seeing the headline… then I read all the comments! I’ve identified as queer/bisexual since I was 15 and have NEVER seen a space like this. The people I am closest to are either straight or gay, so these conversations are often challenging. Just to feel this visible and understood means so much. The number of times I have been told that I’m not “really” queer because I am dating a man… or I am simply “seeking attention,” trying to be “sexy,” etc. Grateful for all of you for sharing your experiences!

    • I know women in the past couple of years have said this but I will say it…..thank you for creating this thread. I recently turned 30 and I’m in a long-distance relationship with a man (I’m in a PhD program). I came out to him that I thought I was bi and he has been the most supportive person. We’ve been open enough to the point that him supporting me having sex with a woman (in fact he was ridiculously excited for me me and said “isn’t going down on women great….it’s the best”).

      Before I met my boyfriend, I tried telling my lesbian friends, I was just told, “don’t break a lesbians heart because of me wanting to experiment”.

      I could at the time see why (this particular friend) said this, but it did scare me from wanting me to come out to really any one else since I didn’t feel like I could call myself “bi” for not ever being with a woman.

      I haven’t even came out to my family since I never dated a woman. Though I have a gay brother and my mom is supportive, weirdly enough I feel like she wouldn’t quite understand being bisexual (I sort of tried telling her and that was her reaction). I tried dating women and it was actually quite difficult, heck I even tried just finding one night stands and that was diffcult (actually impossible). Nothing ever panned out to anything more then some light flirting and drinks.

      I think the most important is to have a partner that loves you for your strengths, weakenesses, heart mind and soul. I just happened to find it and my partner happens to be a man.

  23. Question for other bisexuals… or just anyone…
    I just had an unfortunate interaction with a professor and I’m not sure how to react. I’m a bisexual woman and my prof. found out I’m engaged to a man and basically said “so you’ve been straight all along.” This really upsets me because straight people never had the experience of internalized guilt and shame for their sexual identity or the process of coming out to family and it just feels like he’s erasing my experiences… I guess this will be happening from now on? I don’t know. Not sure if this is an okay forum for this… I just had a lot of feelings and I’m looking for advice.

    • He absolutely was erasing your experiences and identity, and you have every right to be upset (and to talk about it here). I’m sure it was especially frustrating because there’s a power imbalance between an instructor and a student, so you may not have felt safe to stand up for yourself. I’m sorry that happened to you.

      I don’t know if this would be helpful for you, but you could try to think of a statement that feels right (something like “No, I’m still bisexual, I just happen to be marrying a man”) and practice saying it to yourself so that if something like this happens again, and you feel comfortable speaking up, you have a response ready. Other than that, the only advice I can offer is to remember that you are the ONLY person who gets to define you – people may say and think inaccurate things, but you know who you are and that’s what matters most.

    • Hi VL,

      Unfortunately, that is a common form of bi erasure which is a common form of biphobia. Something many of us have experienced from both straight and gay/lesbian people. You have every right to feel upset about what this professor said. It shows his ignorance. This is the perfect forum to share this experience. If you haven’t already, check out the Bisexual Resource Center website and Bisexual.org Facebook page. I also like this graphic on pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/137500594850891381/.

      Also, look up a great interview between Anna Paquin and Larry King back in 2014. He challenges her bisexuality because she is married to a man. She has a great response.

    • Also, I would contact your Title IX office and speak to one of their staff. It is inappropriate for your professor to comment on your sexuality, much less in a way that erases your identity.

  24. So, tonight I came to the Internet because I had trouble spleeping. Mostly, I’m struggling with the fact that I’m a bi woman (previouslsy identifying as a lesbian) in a LTR with a cisman for the past 4 years.

    Every couple of months I have an internal crisis, because I fear I’m not being true to myself, I guess it’s the erasure experience most of other women commented in the thread. I live a “straight live” on the outside, and feel I don’t have space to express my queerness, since I don’t have a lot of friends, or a community.

    Sometimes I have vivid dreams about having sex with other women, and I’m never sure if I should pursue some arrangement of open relationship, because we tried that before, and it caused me more anxiety, because it seems easier for my boyfriend to find other women to date, but I’m not really good at dating (we’re both sort of weirdos and bad at dating in general). I end up feeling more insecure, because he (may) have sex with other women and I don’t.

    So, I found this article (https://www.autostraddle.com/you-need-help-youre-gay-but-oh-no-youre-falling-for-a-man-what-the-fck-415159/) and ended up here.

    I’m really happy to find this thread, though. It seems the universe is on my side, after all.

    If anybody has thoughts on this issue of mine, I appreciate it.

    But thanks anyway for the article, and the website in general. It’s my go-to place to feel good. =D

    • So, open or other kinds of plural relationships can be great, but I would caution you that dating isn’t necessarily the best way to experience your queerness. Only you can determine that, obviously, but you’ve said that when you tried it before, it only added to your anxiety. Plural relationships are a solution for people who aren’t monogamous, not for people who aren’t monosexual. If you genuinely want to pursue that, there may be some ways that you can help each other make that more positive for you, but you may benefit more from making some new friends who are also queer and seeing if that improves your experience. Having sex with ladies is fun, but plural relationships aren’t always accepted by people and you might, if you find yourself in something really important to you, it might make you feel equally bad if you feel you can’t be open about all of your relationships.

      I think part of the problem that a lot of us in this thread have experienced is that bisexuals are commonly excluded from queer spaces unless we’re /properly/ performing queer rather than living the lives we want to live.

      I’m really fortunate that I’ve found a bunch of new friends who are bi and several are poly and we’re all very open about our experiences and troubles. It’s been really helpful for me. I still get to be exactly who I am and I get to be my kind of queer. That’s what really matters, feeling comfortable in your skin and respected and valued in your relationships. We’re not just queer when we’re eating muff. We’re queer regardless of our sexual activities. Having the people we love most acknowledge that and treat it as present and an indelible part of us instead of something that might be relevant if our situations changed is what provides that feeling of being valued and allows us to feel like we’re living the identities we hold.

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