No-one here yet?
I think there's definitely been a usage change.
When I was young, people used "bisexual" to mean "gender-blind, because that's how bisexuality would be possible". Nowadays, they are more likely to mean "attracted to both genders, sometimes to different degrees and in different ways".
"Pansexual" has come in to replace it, with a slightly broader remit to cover enbys as well as the gender binary. Those are the people who say "for me it's not about the genitals".
At first read I thought HUBBY shouldn’t take wife’s friend so seriously, but apparently she asked him that same question three(!) times already.
It looks to me like she’s heavily sexualizing you, or at least man on man action, while ignoring your privacy and feelings.
Who needs such a “friend” anyway?
LW2- Why not tell your wife to tell her friend to stop making comments like that and explain to her why they are inappropriate? If it really is her oldest friendship and she wants to keep it, then it shouldn't be this hard to have this conversation. If the friend will not stop even after discovering that this behavior is harmful, then your wife might reconsider the friendship.
As for your birthday, it's your party and I think you can tell your wife not to invite her friend. But I think it might do the friend good to know why and might help improve their friendship if they are serious about it. If I found out that my behavior was causing my best friend's husband to not want me in their major life events, I'd be devastated and apologetic and reflective. Is it possible that the friend could be this way?
CMD absolutely agree, but it's also possible that she thinks she's bonding or being supportive. Warped totally and uncouth, but possible. People sometimes honestly don't know how their actions come across, and if they have a sort of jokey vulgar humor relationship in the first place (which seems to be common enough), then I could see a misfire. It does reveal that the friend is not able to see the husband as just a man anymore- she's sexualizing him big time. But one way to tell if she's an asshole or honestly just unintentionally gross is to tell her clearly how she comes across and then see how she responds. That would tell a lot about how much this couple should bother with the future of the friendship as well.
I think EmmaLiz might be on to something. It's possible wife's friend is trying to demonstrate to HUBBY and probably his wife (her friend) that's "she's cool with it" by asking him about the cocksucking. I know quite a few women who believe that being overly crass is just speaking mens' language. Rather than depending on the wife to give the friend a talking to I'd contact her directly and tell her that her comments made you uncomfortable and you'd rather she not come to the party.
I think HUBBY's friend's behaviour is utterly vile and can't put any positive spin on it at all. The fact that she's saying it loudly in front of people at parties is just so intrusive. She needs to be told in no uncertain terms how he feels when she says that, and see if she's willing to change her behaviour.
"You're disclosing your sexual orientation"
Yes and no Dan, because as you had just said there's both romantic orientation and sexual orientation...and the masses improperly conflate them. How to educate the masses? I suggest disclosing both. Both to educate, and because if one only discloses one the masses don't understand so you have failed to communicate.
There is a middle ground short of retracting the invitation of your wife's obnoxious friend, and that's for you to confront her in advance of the party, since your wife won't.
Tell her, "That sort of behavior made me feel singled out in front of the entire party, and it made me extremely uncomfortable. (if she tries for the "get a thicker skin" angle continue with) So, now that you are aware of how it makes me feel bad, OF COURSE you don't want to make me feel bad, right? So OF COURSE there will be no repeat performance, right? Because OF COURSE the very last thing in the world that you want to do is to embarrass the shit out of your best friend's husband...right? That IS the last thing you want...right? (if she still isn't getting it) OF COURSE you don't want to behave like an asshole, get escorted off the premises, and stop getting invitations in the future...right?"
"Good. Glad we see eye to eye on this."
By this definition I'd be a lopsided heteroromantic bisexual woman. Coming out as such seems tricky not only because I'm in a red state theocracy, but because straight men ALREADY seem to think a three way with another woman is on the table at like date 2, and I don't feel my Kinsey 1 attractions are for their benefit.
LW2, your wife is being a bitch.
1. You specifically told her you weren't comfortable with how her friend was behaving, and she didn't say "I'm so sorry, I'll shut that down pronto," then go to her friend and say "hey, absolutely no more of that dirty talk to my husband, kay?" No, she sided with her against you and gave a bunch of excuses.
She didn't support your wish not to have her at your birthday party - to the point where you had to say "she shows up and I'm gone." You should not have had to issue that ultimatum.
She then "accidentally" invited her anyways. Accident my ass! She didn't just randomly forget that you had threatened to leave if her friend showed up.
She's now refusing to un-invite her. WTF?
I advise you tell your wife in no uncertain terms that if her friend shows up to the party you'll tell her to leave. Also, tell her that she has 24 hours to dis-invite her friend before you do it yourself. Or, just send her an email yourself saying "[wife'sFriend], I don't want you to come to my party. You've made several rude comments about cocksucking that made me uncomfortable, and I don't want you there. This decision is final, please respect my wishes by not trying to get around it by arguing or showing up uninvited." Then block her until after the party and refuse to discuss it more - with her OR your wife. "Maybe she can be invited for other things later, but my decision is final for my birthday." Repeat ad nauseum. Your wife can privately deal with her friend's big meltdown, self-serving 'it's all about me' apology, or other bad reaction. It's not your problem and you don't want to talk to the friend about it any more, or talk to your wife about it.
Harsh? Maybe, but when you eliminate all the nice options, only the not-nice options are left. Your wife eliminated all the nice options by refusing to shut her friend down, inviting her against your express wishes, and then refusing to un-invite her. She can now deal with the not-nice options
I was hoping Dan would use that Robyn Ochs quote! :-)
I remember back when I came out two decades ago, "but are you fifty-fifty?" was often used to deny our claims of being bisexual. If anyone were to admit even a slight preference for one gender over the other, it would be "see? Bisexuals don't exist, you're really gay and in denial/straight and a slut." Thank you to Robyn Ochs and others for helping dispel that prejudice.
In today's brave new world, people who are biromantic or "indifferent to gender," as Dan says, often describe themselves as pansexual rather than bisexual.
I agree with BLOW that coming out as bisexual will mean that some people make assumptions -- accurate or not -- about his sex life. That's why coming out is brave; he will have some degree of biphobic shitstorm to weather. But I also agree with Dan that a married man who comes out as bi will probably be presumed monogamous. If people make presumptions they keep to themselves, so what? If they ask nosey questions, tell them it's none of their business. Unless they're hot bi dudes, in which case he can go into more detail!
I have different advice for HUBBY. Now that wife has done the damage, she needs to take Friend aside at the beginning of the party, or speak to her before it, and tell her that inappropriate comments about HUBBY's sexual orientation will not be tolerated. Then enforce it. If Friend can't keep her lip zipped, call her an Uber and don't hang out with her again.
Oh, BINAIF, I just want to hug you. We learn about ourselves with each experience, with each lover, with each crush. I'm twice your age and still learning. What you want may change over time and depending on the partner you're with. There are also many, many ways to experience love; the feelings you feel for someone may partly depend on their gender but also partly depend on their personality, their body, the way they make you feel. Go forth and enjoy it all, my young friend!
DC270 @10: Yep. One of the many reasons I prefer dating bisexual men to straight ones.
Traffic @11: Good point that it's Wife who's being the clueless jerk here. "She doesn't want to offend her oldest friend," but it's perfectly fine for that friend to offend her husband!? She needs an immediate attitude adjustment. If she continues to excuse Friend, perhaps HUBBY should cancel this party, and host a different birthday party elsewhere, inviting neither Wife nor Friend.
I'm going to disagree with the idea that the friend should get to go to the party with one final warning. The husband said he didn't want her there, so she shouldn't be there. It's his party and he should be able to enjoy himself there without waiting for the friend to make another rude comment and then wondering if it's bad enough to ask her to leave, or if his wife will again side with her and say she can stay. His wife shouldn't get to directly ignore his clearly-stated boundary because "oops, did it anyways, LOL, guess you have to have her there after all."
Fuck that. Wifey tried to back-door this bullshit and now she can take her medicine and fix it. If it's awkward? Good. That'll teach her to not do it again.
My first SL comment ever! With due respect to the LW’s discomfort at his w
Well I sure made a mess of my first attempt at commenting. What I was trying to say was that even though I ‘d probably have the same reaction as LW2 to the wife’s friend’s cake-hole and his wife’s lack of support for his feelings, there is a part of me that would have been sorely tempted to respond to the question by asking the friend whose cock SHE’D like to suck. Maybe being put on the spot like that would teach her a little bit about empathy.
Nobody is missing out if he's not dating someone who lost too many Compatibility Points. As to whether one would want to be dated out of guilt, I'll put that in the FTWL category either way.
Ms Fan, as an Expert Witness, would you agree that there is a massive difference between homo-romantic and bi-romantic? While I don't think Mr Savage was exactly trying to shame gays into dating more bis, he did seem to be trying to paper over something significant.
Decent Savage Love this week. Nice emphasis on remaining honest about this. You only really owe full disclosure to your potential partners and, ideally, to people who in good faith come out to you (or if not honesty, a hell of a lot of understanding). However, the fewer bi men who are in the closet, the better, at least, the better for bisexuals. Say what you will about my own issues but I can only imagine the bitterness out bi men must feel knowing that ~70% of them are not out for some reason or other. Good lord! The mind boggles at a number like that. So, by all means, bi men, you want recognition, stand up and recognize yourselves, act as if you count, because you do!
PS Kinsey 1 men, we see you on the DL, this means you too.
After I found a new boyfriend, I stopped thinking about anyone else because our relationship is closed.
Shouldn't that be the opposite? Can she really just decide 'not to think?' And if it has nothing to do with her thought or feeling, how did their relationship get to BE 'closed?"
@17 That's his boilerplate response to this sort of thing. There are still droves of gay men who refuse to date bi men, though since 'bi' is such a titanic category covering such a broad range of people, that's not a very useful heuristic for filtering potential partners. The Kinsey scale, despite its flaws and age, is still a venerable rule of thumb.
Under no circumstances should you feel ethically or morally obligated to date bi men. You may have whatever preferences you see fit. It is your right, absolute and inalienable, to date only hardline Kinsey 6 men, and you may make that rule as sacred as you please.
Keep in mind, though, that this sort of filter is very broad and only useful to a very general degree. My husband has always been perfectly loving and honest with me, and he's a 4 or 5 on the scale. Further, it sends mixed messages to guys who are questioning things; it's unfair to say "you must come out" one moment, but "you're practically straight so go away" the next.
Destroying the closet is paramount. The damage it does to gay men, even when it is secondhand (closeted partners), is far & away worse than anything done to gay men by bi men. Their proximity to 'straight' guys and closet cases is more reason to convince them that being out is the best option for their long-term happiness and health.
We don't know what the reaction was to HUBBY's wife's best friend's horribly inappropriate remark the first 3 times she said it. If everyone laughed and she was never taken to task for it, then she could reasonably be telling herself that she's ever so clever, that she's joking around, that she's taking an interest and making conversation. Having been encouraged the first time, she's emboldened to keep going. If no one laughed, if everyone looked at her appalled, if someone in the group said "what the fuck- why would you say something that horrible," and if the objections grew louder with each repetition, then telling her she's not invited to future parties makes perfect sense.
I'm beginning to wonder how supportive the group really has been if they're okay with Ms. Best Friend.
I also wonder whether Ms. Best Friend was really drunk or if that's something Ms. HUBBY is using as an excuse. As is typical for me, I think the real problem is the alcohol, the alcoholic, and the enabler of the alcoholic. Oh! Here's an idea. Tell Ms. Best Friend that they've decided to serve no alcohol at the party and she's not to bring her own. This will be an alcohol-free evening. See what happens then.
You convinced me. I was thinking that HUBBY's wife should warn her friend that her behavior was hurtful and that if she did it again (drunk or not), she would be required to leave. However, this is HUBBY's birthday, his party, and he should not have to be on edge wondering if the friend will blurt out something inappropriate. The friend should pay the price of not attending, and be on notice that at the next party, she will behave.
As with @11, HUBBY could give his wife 24 hours to do the dis-inviting before doing it himself.
Basically, Dan nailed it, but @14 explained why especially this party should be about HUBBY, not the friend.
HUBBY: "my wife's best friend has loudly asked me whose cock I would most like to suck"
That ought to shut her up.
Basil @16: I like it!
Venn @17: A massive difference in what way? Obviously, a hetero-romantic person will not end up in a relationship with someone of the same sex, whereas a biromantic person has very little chance of ending up in a relationship with someone of the same sex, so in that aspect it's kind of a small difference. A biromantic person may nevertheless expend great effort on attempted same-sex relationships, possibly with an eye to proving they are in fact biromantic and not just bisexual. So the heteroromantic gets all the fun of bisexuality with only half of the heartbreak! ;-)
Poly @19: To a great extent, yes, one can "decide not to think" about other people when one is in a committed monogamous relationship. One cannot decide not to notice them, but when one has accepted that all others are off the menu, it's not terribly difficult -- for many people -- to train their mind to think "hmm, they're attractive," but dismiss all thoughts beyond that. (As LW says, she "avoids thinking about others" -- mentally changing the subject instead of dwelling.)
I would assume that this relationship is closed because the two people in it had a conversation about monogamy. The other way relationships become closed is by assumption that of course relationships are closed, but, as this woman is in fact aware that relationships don't have to be, I highly suspect this couple discussed it formally.
As I mentioned in last week's comments, it's possible for some people to be happy in monogamous relationships and also to be happy in non-monogamous ones. Is this LW one of them? That will be one of the things she discovers about herself, with more life experience.
Fichu @21: I don't think it matters what the assembled group's reaction was. The only thing that matters here is that HUBBY told his wife it bothered him, and Wife didn't take him seriously.
Sadly, I think an alcohol-free party would scare off a lot more guests than Ms Best Friend. (Or were you thinking that only she would be told it was a booze-free party? What if she showed up anyway?)
3 times was 2 too many. This should have been dealt with the first time the LW's wife's friend blurted that shit out. I'd go with a talking to and one last chance, but again, that should have happened the first time. Not dealing with it until it has happened 3 times and now dealing with it around his birthday party just ups the stakes and makes everything more emotional and difficult. That's how shit tends to come to a head though, ain't it?
The wife in this case is being very shitty to her husband. IMO, the LW needs to sit his wife down and have a talk with her about her behavior, and they need to resolve that. She needs to understand how and why her response and actions have been unacceptable. If she can't or won't, then they have bigger problems. Then his wife needs to turn it around and sit down her friend down and have a talk about her behavior. Again, she must acknowledge and agree to reform. If she doesn't or if she blurts some shit like that out again, there has to be some consequences. What that would be? That's up to LW & wife to agree on.
Mr Lion - I've given up that sort of carry-on, as Mrs Doyle Counihan might say.
Ms Fan - Thank you for responding, but I fear you answered the opposite of the question asked.
I'm a genderfluid person who identifies as bi because that was the term in usage when I realized that I could be attracted romantically or sexually to more than one gender. Pansexual probably covers it more for me, honestly. I am also a lopsider. I am definitely pan-romantic, but my sexuality -- no matter where I fall along the gender spectrum at any given time -- tends toward masculine people. Not males. Masculine. I have a husband, a boyfriend, and a girlfriend. Hubby and boyfriend are masculine in different ways and girlfriend is soft-butch. Much of the time, I am an invisible queer person, since my presentation can swing anywhere from skirts-and-heels to flannel and a mohawk and I'm married to very male-appearing person. I find it important to be open about my queerness to prevent erasure, but no one needs to know what my queerness means about what I do in the bedroom.
@venn, no worries. Perhaps that's best, after all.
BINAIF: To answer your second question, I don't think you were in love with two people at the same time. That's because both your feelings - intense feelings for a roller coaster relationship and feelings of safety for somebody trying to comfort you - can be strong but I wouldn't call them love. More than sexuality, you need to understand that strong emotions don't necessarily mean love.
It's possible to have strong emotions, even strong positive emotions, for multiple people at the same time. And it's possible to feel attraction to people who aren't your partner without that becoming a problem. But you should understand the ability to have close bonds with people other than your partner, because expecting your partner to be your primary outlet for all your feelings leads to all sorts of unhealthy.
As to what "bi" actually means, I feel like this is some sort of setup that presumes that being bi is an inherently desirable state. You can have whatever feelings for whatever people, at whatever intensities feel right. You can also have whatever sorts of relationships suit your fancy, so long as everybody's on the same page and everybody is decent to everybody else. (There's a lot to be said for monogamy, too. Relationships are tricky and time consuming, and there's nothing wrong with deciding that you only have enough time and emotional bandwidth for one at a time.) If it's relevant info you're free to give a more detailed explanation than just "straight" or "bi", and if it's not relevant there isn't any reason to bring it up at all.
"And if you and the girlfriend are perceived to be monogamous, and you want to keep it that way, you can allow people to continue to make that assumption."
Wait...so polyamorous erasure is okay???
Hey, HUBBY, I just thought of a great comeback you can use on the idiot woman who asks you whose cock you'd most like to suck. Let her come to your b'day party, and when she asks the question, look her straight in the eye and say loudly, "Whose cock would I like to suck? Yours! C'mon, baby, whip it out!" Then just keep bugging relentlessly her until she leaves (and trust me, she'll never be back): "C'mon, man, lemme see your cock! You know you want it!"
If I were hubby, I'd step up to the plate and 'educate' this 'friend'. It's his day and party. Your repeated comments about which of our mutual male friends I'd most like to screw make our group social interaction pretty awkward for me. What are you expecting me to say? I'd fuck Bob and Ted, but not your undesirable husband, Mel? While I appreciate humor and levity as much as anyone, your question places me and my male friends in an awkward position, potentially creating tension and hostility between us. I'm telling you to never raise this issue again, if your hoping to count me in you circle of friends!!!
@34 Is it erasure if it's not the other people's business?
@35 Well and good, but what happens when she calls his bluff and actually DOES rip out her ten-foot flared-and-textured multi-penis that she had surgically grafted onto herself, specifically in preparation for the party? Then he'll look silly!
What is it with some of you people. Ffs, tell your wife she has pissed you right off, then ring her friend and uninvite her. Telling her why.
Then tell your wife it’s done, not another word to be said about it. Then the two of you get this party rollin’.
Later, much later, sit down with your wife for a ‘what the fuck is your problem’ discussion. She might not be as fine with your orientation as she presents.
@39: LavaGirl just won this thread.
Venn @29: Ah, gotcha, you were asking about the difference between homo-romantic and bi-romantic, not hetero. I read it as a difference between mono-romantic and bi-romantic and spoke to my own experience with mono-romantics, who have tended to be hetero-romantic rather than the other way round. I'm not an "expert witness" on homo-romantics, but I'd say a female homo-romantic would be one of those lesbians who is shunned for having the occasional fling with a man, and a male homo-romantic would be someone either you or Lionface (or Ricardo) could discuss with far greater expertise than I.
Bearish @30: I'm your opposite. I like feminine-to-androgynous people, regardless of their gender identity or biological sex. I am not attracted to masculine people of any gender -- cis male, trans male, or butch dyke. This is why I don't identify as pansexual -- also because, as you say, bi was the word for what I am at the time when I discovered there was a word for what I am. "No one needs to know what my queerness means about what I do in the bedroom" -- preach, sibling! :-)
Twitter @34: They aren't polyamorous. They occasionally swing. Speaking as a poly person, occasional threeways fall under "what you do" rather than "who you are." "We have a great kinky sex life, and at times we invite a hot bi dude to join us" is no one's business but theirs and their lovers'. If they develop a relationship with one of these hot bi dudes that goes beyond the threesome-and-goodbye, then they can come out about it. (Also, speaking as a bi person, saying "I'm bi" is interpreted by many people as "I have threesomes all the time!" Why confirm that stereotype?)
Mr Lion - Were you approving of giving up dating in general or opining solely about me? If the latter, that will perhaps be the statement of yours which will meet with the most agreement from the assembled company.
With apologies to the veterans for repeating something they know well, as Mr Lion is new enough perhaps not to have heard, I Retired From Romance after a relationship that began over ten years ago when (in my late forties) I was pursued by a teenage Mormon. He is now a great credit to the G, but getting him there was enough to convince me to make him my Positively Last Boyfriend.
@42 Oh, no, I genuinely thought you were referring to something else, I read 'carry-on' and interpreted it as a very polite way of calling me long-winded or overzealous about being really fucking gay. You don't have to date if you don't want to, obviously, but that's your choice. I know better than to try to encourage or discourage anyone that way. Thanks for letting me in on it, that lends context.
@34, @37,@41 Yeah I wasn't being completely serious. There's a kernel of truth to my comment, and yes, I was trying to be provocative, but I agree that it's not necessary to disclose that aspect of your lifestyle. (Ugh. I hate using the word "lifestyle" because in other contexts it's a word used by homophobes to thinly disguise their bigotry.)
@4. EmmaLiz. Your advice about the wife's friend getting 'a talking to', or rather a patient explanation, is wise and compassionate. I would guess the friend's response is panicked, maybe phobic. She doesn't know how she feels about gay men. She wanted to laugh it off. The offence she gave is very likely to have been inadvertent. Tell her what the boundaries are, and--in the context of the older friendship with the wife--let her resume. Perhaps, if HUBBY feels like it, she could get another chance with them both--after she has sat out this party.
With LW1, my view is that it's a blow against homophobia whenever anyone says (anyone not an evident deviant or undesirable, 'deplorable' etc.) 'I fuck men'. BLOW can say, 'I fuck men'--more likely, am fucked by men--and 'it's an important part of my identity'. Then, supposing his interlocutor asks, 'do you fuck men now?', he can answer in a way that maintains his relationship's privacy or is more open, depending on his judgment of the situation.
Of course it's common for bi men not to be emotionally available, available for a relationship, to gays. And, so often, a situation both can exploit to their advantage. There was one time in my life I craved a relationship--even more recurring expressions of affection--with a 'straight' man--not partnered, in fact evidently troubled, at the time. This is a common experience, too; we can all live with it.
Also worth saying: I know where the old-skool gay line, that equates purely hetero-romantic bi men with closet cases, is coming from. It's not the whole story, of course. It's wrongheaded about how bisexuality can be lopsided; and it's too political, sees everything too much in the light of 'sexuality politics', as if these 'BLOW' gays are shirking their social responsibilities in not being outer, prouder, gayer, louder. Like an 80s disco anthem. But yeah. It's not incumbent on them to be, to have feelings that way.
The demand from gays is understandable, though.
Personally I am heterosexually aromantic--because what I want from women is far more fundamental than sex....
1 time is an honest mistake - people get drunk and say stupid stuff
2 times is a fuck up - 'hey i apologize it's on me to change up'
3 times is a pattern ("I Don't give a fuck what you think you're a person in my imagination not a real human)
All that being said, I think it would be the big thing to ASK for an apology and say (without giving too much detail) that you don't appreciate those questions. If getting an apology is a problem? Yeah then feel free to move on. If they're embarrassed and apologetic, then you can move forward together.
Over/Under how many time HUBBY's wife's best friend saw the Sex And The City Movies in theater? I'm saying 3.5.
@40 nocutename: I second the nomination, re the HUBBY thread. Well done and kudos, LavaGirl (@39)!
I shall only add to Ms Lava's excellent suggestion what a shame it would be if Wife's next Valentine's gift arrived from the jeweler's with the wrong name ACCIDENTALLY engraved on it.
@46 "Harder, better, faster, gayer"
Oops, I missed this the first read-through: "I told my wife that I wouldn't be coming to my own birthday party if her friend was invited, but she invited her anyway "by accident."
In that case I retract my "middle-ground" final-warning answer. Wife needs a lesson in taking her spouse seriously just as badly as her obnoxious friend needs a bitch-slap. Having actually issued the ultimatum and watched your bluff get called -- yeah, SURE, including her on the group text invite was "accidental" -- there now needs to be consequences. Big ones. As soon as Obnoxia hits the living room, do the old butter knife on on the wine bottle speech thing, explain to the assembled guests that you are exiting your own birthday party, exactly why you are leaving, and exactly how unsupportive your wife was about the whole thing. Then yes, go ahead and actually leave, and take all the oxygen in the room with you.
Harriet @45: Lionface can't live with it! Or with any knowledge of anyone else doing it, either.
Eh, I don't have anything against the desire or the fantasy. I'm flattered to have so quickly risen to prominence as the gatekeeper du jour, though!
For BLOW - I agree with Dan, come out as bi. Being attracted to men and women is part of who you are and that’s what you’re sharing. No need to go into the details about how and when you act on your attractions.
I’m a bi woman and I’ve been married to my male partner for more than 15 years. A few years ago I realized that almost everyone in my life, including people I’d come out to when I was single, assumed that I’m straight. It was not a good feeling to realize that I’d accidentally erased my bi identity.
I’m a few years into my 2nd coming out and I have some thoughts for BLOW.
1 - let yourself come out as bi in a way that feels comfortable but commit to doing it.
2 - find bi or bi-friendly queer community, online or in person. I started online and slowly, bravely expanded to in-person. Having a sense of belonging to a community really helped me feel more comfortable coming out to the straight people in my life. I was really nervous the first few times I was in a queer space and mentioned being bi and married to a man. But it got easier with time.
3 - people may make all sorts of weird assumptions and ask nosy questions. Feel free to ignore or shut them down. I’m in a monogamous relationship and I’ve had a couple people ask me if we have an open marriage - I’m definitely team “none of your damn business” but I usually respond with a flat No.
4 - it’s taken me a few years, but I’m out now to my family and my closest friends, to my church and to a few colleagues. I belong to a queer book group, I volunteer at my local lgbtq+ Community Center and I occasionally attend a bi discussion group. I have a gay pride pin and a bi pride pin on my purse. I’m still pretty bad about coming out in conversation but I’m better at talking about all the interesting queer things I’m involved with.
In case BINAIF is reading the comments, here’s another data point from a bi/queer woman twice your age. I’ve been in love with both women and men, but more men than women, and the reason for this, I believe, is that my heart closes up immediately when I perceive that someone is going to cling to me, and I have encountered more women than men who give me that clingy vibe early on. I spent years wondering why I was always choosing emotionally unavailable people, before coming to realize that, though there are downsides to that, I choose that over the possibility of being emotionally engulfed by someone needy. Pluses and minuses. So this is a characteristic that I see as being related to gender, but that I think is due to cultural conditioning more so than gender essentialism.
In terms of immediate attraction versus growth of feelings, I tend to be the opposite of you: much more likely to be immediately attracted to a woman and much slower to develop feelings (and feelings not based on physical appearance) for men. I have attributed this to a learned caution about men in general . . . as though I have less instinctive distrust for women and have to overcome the instinctive distrust to feel attracted to a man, but I have no idea if that hypothesis is correct.
I’ve been thinking about all this for decades and don’t really know if my hypotheses are correct, but I wanted to weigh in to fill in the picture of the breadth of different ways of being “Bisexual Woman.” Also, what a cute acronym you gave yourself, BINAIF!
PS to BiDanFan: I only today saw your compliment to me from May 2017: https://www.thestranger.com/savage-love/2017/05/31/25175738/savage-love/comments/96. (I googled my username while trying to choose a blog user handle). Thank you. And in my case, no longer single doesn’t mean no longer available: polyamory FTW!
ManxsomeFoe @55: Agreed! High five, bi five, and ahem... any chance we're in the same time zone? ;-)
@52. Bi. There's the politics of community and the personal hygiene of knowing where you stand. They're connected, of course. Looking back at this particular involvement, I'd think we were both making implausible requests of the other--for a relationship, on one side, and as a cum- but more particular unresolved-feelings-dump, on the other.
@56. The Eastern time zone is pretty big, so maybe? But Indiana is just a very small and underpopulated part of that time zone.
Hi so I’m a fourth year student studying accounting. Last year I started to chat with a boy in fb and after some time I get a text from him on a Saturday that he was outside my apartment. I have never gone out with someone strange but that day my heart decided to go with the flow and we went for a ride in his car. After talking for two hours he told me he liked me and wanted to date me . I wasn’t sure what to do that time and told him I want to focus on my life first and I barely knew him how could I just date him . I also have my insecurities regarding my appearance since I have a condition my eyes where I’m are crooked meaning my left eye is not in the right position rather tinted and that’s why they call him crooked eyes . The next day he wanted to meet again and I agreed to meet but that day when he asked me out again I said I’ll think About dating him. The next day I realized I made a huge mistake and ended it with a text message that I’m not in the moment to be in relationships and I wanted to focus on my career first . He agreed to it but after three days he texted to meet again to which I refused through the text and also told him about my condition but he couldn’t understand since he has never seen me (we had been meeting at night and we barely had our eyes meet) . I stopped replying to his text and now it’s been almost a year but I don’t know what to do shld I call him or not .
Congrats in advance to this week's Lucky @69 winner!
Harriet @57: Thanks for clarifying that what you wanted was a relationship with a -particular- "straight" man. That's different to what Lionface rails against, the chasing/fetishising of straight men as a group.
Manxsome @58: I was too vague, I'm not even in the same country. Alas! Best of luck to us both then :-)
Hunter @59: I know you're employing your trademark purposeful obtuseness, but it's unlikely a "stampede of gays" is going to queue up for a straight-married bisexual man. No, it's more likely BLOW is reluctant to come out because of all the stigma and stereotypes against bisexuals -- male bisexuals in particular.
@62. Bi. I have a tendency to see sex as part of friendship (like many gay males). Other people can see sex as receiving absolution. I'm a sort of Father/Mother Confessor figure, though not deliberately; and, in this case, the guy understood sex as 'go forth and sin no more' or 'you haven't sinned', 'don't feel so bad about it', 'it's happened now' etc... So there was scope for misunderstanding. I'm pleased now that the people who come to me with their problems very, very rarely entertain any notions of a hookup. My 'casuals' are so much fewer now and at least in their mid-thirties, with some greater degree of clear-headedness about boundaries.
@58. Manxome Foe. Alas, Bi may have drawn the wrong inference from 'Manx'. What's a boat trip when you're potentially compatible? ;)
@60. Monacal. It’s been a year; let it go. Now you're ready to date, you may well find someone else. This new person will accept your eye.
Bi @62: Bi five and good luck to us both, then!
Harriet @64: Lol. It's just that Lewis Carroll is even better than Edmund Spenser (and Spenser is very good!) to mine for usernames: ManxsomeFoe, VorpalSword, UffishThought, TulgyWood . . . and so forth.
Monacal @60: The unbreakable rules for meeting random Internet people are (1) plan it in advance, so you can tell a friend the plan; and (2) meet in public. Please, please, please, the next time (because leave this particular guy in the past for sure), let "following your heart" mean going Facebook-official too soon, not getting in a car with a stranger at night.
Hunter @60: My father has a head full of jokes, parodies, advertising jingles from 1950s radio shows, etc., etc. This now explains why I have heard him sometimes say, in a high-pitched voice, "Wouldn't I? Oh, wouldn't I?"
@68. ManxsomeFoe. Sorry I spelled 'Manxsome' wrong. Perhaps Lewis Carroll is thinking of the Isle of Man? Or it would be a Matthew Barney reference.
@Hunter: The joke goes "Would you like to dance?" and "Would I?! Would I?!"
Congrats nocute! And thanks, you as well Grizelda.
Congrats on having 69 nicute, & your post reminds me of a politically incorrect “wood-eye” joke (I’ll spare you) 🤗
HUBBY, how about responding, at the top of your lungs, : "Since you've sucked all of them, whose do you recommend?"
I don't think fighting snark with snark is ever a "hissy fit."
And yes, would that we all had such quick wits. I hope HUBBY has read the thread and has some ready rejoinders should Rude Friend rear her nasty sense of humour at him again.
Ms Fan - She should never have the opportunity because they should never be in the same room again.
Venn @76: I agree in theory, but in the real world sometimes one finds oneself in social situations with assholes one's friends are inexplicably also friends with. If HUBBY refuses to be in the same room with this person, the result may end up being that HUBBY only hurts himself by missing out on social events.
I recall well what Carolyn Hax has to say about the word "should."
Eh, given that the friend circle has stuck with Bestie, as has Wife, I don't think he'll be any worse off, even if this led to divorce.
I've decided, on consideration, that, if this were my novel, Bestie would have a semi-secret thing for Wife, who is increasingly coming around, at least emotionally.
"For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, oh unless you have even one rude friend you want to keep the peace with." No, Venn, that's not how the marriage vows go. This is about the lowest bar for ending a supposed lifelong commitment I've seen in these comments. Um, well done?
Ms Fan - Clever of you to leave out "forsaking all others"; I wonder how many couples do, and if it applies to this couple or not.
I'm not saying this in itself ends the marriage, but it certainly could be a symptom that the marriage is in serious trouble. Correlation, not causation. Spouse A who lets at best bad behaviour towards Spouse B go, continues to defend and side with the offender when it becomes a decided attack, and at best doesn't take care to avoid further attacks when they clearly cause Spouse B such distress that B would rather not have a party than have Attacker present seems a pretty likely indicator that A is not in a very good spousal mental state. Part of why could even be B's fault to some extent.
Bestie is indulging in very Heather-like behaviour. What was already needed here was for Veronica to take the red scrunchy from Duke, H and spend prom night with Martha Dunstock. That hasn't happened. I'm not thrilled with the group as a whole. If LW ends up basically withdrawing from the group and finding more genuinely supportive friends, I don't think he's a loser by it. If Wife continues her attempts to force LW to share space with Bestie and accept her abuse while presumably other things in their marriage crumble as well and the couple eventually divorces, again, I don't think he loses anything valuable.
I also left out "love, honour and cherish," and that even more outdated chestnut, "obey." Want to draw any inferences of cleverness from there, or simply accept that I was merely excerpting for the sake of time and space limitations?
I agree that Wife is in the wrong, and said as much, but it's not a divorce-worthy level of in the wrong. If HUBBY was going to dump his wife for not defending him to rude friends, he should have done that before rings were exchanged. Now he's faced with the dilemma of "avoid one unpleasant person" versus "protracted negotiations involving lawyers." Yes, I too hope that he can talk sense to Wife and get her to stop excusing the inexcusable. But as someone who's been through a divorce, let me tell you, they are far more painful than a few inappropriate remarks from a third party.
It seems to me that HUBBY's wife's friend is extraordinarily uncomfortable with the idea of her friend's husband's bisexuality. I don't know why--maybe it's garden-variety homophobia (I include bi-phobia, if the hater's issue lies with the idea of two members of the same sex having sex), but maybe she thinks that because he's bi, he's planning to cheat or doomed to cheat on his wife. Maybe the reason the wife's bff is being so awful is that the wife has confided something to her that the lw doesn't know.
At any rate, everything about the dynamic between the husband and wife's friend, the wife and her friend, and the husband and his wife needs lots of work.
Before the birthday party, if there's time:
First, the husband should initiate a discussion with the wife's friend: "You've made that cock-sucking comment three times, and I don't want to hear it again. It's disrespectful and obnoxious and completely inappropriate. If you want to have an adult conversation about human sexuality or ask me some questions about being bi, that's fine, but what you've been doing is unacceptable."
Then he needs to have a talk with his wife: "Why on earth would you invite this woman to my birthday party when she's been such a colossal asshat to me? You knew I didn't want her to be invited and you did so anyway. This makes me angry and it makes me feel as though you value her friendship more than you value me and my feelings. You know what she's said ad you know how upset it makes me. Why do you put up with her crude and obnoxious remarks? Do you think your friendship couldn't survive you calling her on her unacceptable behavior? It feels as though your friendship with her, your uncomfortableness with causing her discomfort, is more important to you than I am. When you make excuses for her, when you tolerate her bad behavior to me, it hurts my feelings. Your inviting her to MY birthday party AFTER I had made my objections known is a betrayal. Also, I don't think a spouse should always offer blind loyalty and cut off friends at the other spouse's request, but it upsets me that you don't take my side in this."
He should ask that his wife have a discussion with her friend during which the wife either uninvites the friend with explanation, or hammers it home how those kinds of comments won't be tolerated and she'd better shape the hell up before the party, call HUBBY and apologize, and not be an asshat henceforth. I hope that this is possible.
They need to sort this stuff out. Whether this happens before this birthday party, or after, it needs to be done. All of this can also take place after the party, if there's not enough time, but it's they are necessary conversations and worthwhile, particularly the one between HUBBY and his wife.
As for the party itself, well if after those discussions, the friend decides she doesn't want to attend or the wife decides to tell her not to attend, problem solved. But if after the conversations, the friend still plans to attend the party, then HUBBY has a choice: boycott his own birthday party (which seems like a rather extreme option, and will appear that he's throwing a childish hissy fit); go the party and ignore the friend as much as possible; go to the party and try to see if after having had that conversation, he can stand to be around the woman.
If there isn't time to have these discussions before the party, I think he should go and avoid the friend as much as possible without it being too obvious so that none of the other guests are aware. After all, most of these people are his friends, too, and HUBBY deserves a birthday celebration that he actually enjoys, and likely doesn't want to introduce Major Drama in this close circle of friends. Or he and his wife could cancel the party, and do something else to celebrate his birthday.
Oh renigged eh nocute. I still disagree. Uninvite the bitch.
And what’s the wife’s problem? If she’s uncomfortable with his bi sexuality, sees it as something her friend can mock, three times, then she’s been lying to this man.
If I was the LW, I’d uninvite her as well. Fuck the both of them. Rude infantilising women, and both need to learn a lesson.
Or. Uninvite the friend and keep the discussion with wife till after the party. It’s a big slip up for her, why would she allow it. And then, disregarding his wishes re Not inviting the friend.
Not reneging, LavaGirl, so much as elaborating. And thinking about what might be best for this man, this couple, this friendship.
He can un-invite, sure. But it strikes me that anyone who wouldn't act in the moment the second or third time something crass and obnoxious was said would have a difficult time doing that. And it doesn't do much to solve the underlying problem. The bigger problem, it seems to me, is in the couple's marriage and in the wife's seeming preference of not upsetting her friend at the cost of upsetting her husband.
@87: Nicely done!
Ms Fan - If this is the entire offence, sure. I'm just giving odds that it's a symptom of a lot more rot underneath. This doesn't scream divorce on its own, but I would not be at all surprised if Wife does deserve to be divorced for proper and serious causes.
Ms Cute - The conversation you suggest with Bestie invites the inference that she should receive more than distant civility from LW; surely the third offence has forfeited the right to anything better.
Re HUBBY's situation, I don't think that the wife's bestie has sexualized him in her mind; considering her rude and tactless behaviour, I believe she's exhibiting hostility - perhaps even outright homophobia - against HUBBY. So ... why didn't anyone shut her down the first time she was so boorish and inappropriate, let alone the second or third times? Most people freeze, not believing that someone just asked them something totally inappropriate, so a quick halt and diversion aren't readily forthcoming. People are also taught to ignore something in the hope that the situation will just fizzle out. But, now HUBBY knows what she's like. It's not that she's drunk (though alcohol may be lowering her inhibitions), she just wants to get in HUBBY's face for her own personal reasons.
These reasons could include a misplaced sense of defending the wife's honour - as if HUBBY's sexuality was a threat to the marriage and an insult to the wife. Whether the wife has revealed some of her own insecurities, we don't know. But the wife DOES have an inappropriate sense of where her loyalties lie. She's backed up her bestie instead of her HUBBY to the extent of sabotaging his birthday party. OOPS, I-invited-her-by-mistake is NO excuse. When someone makes a mistake, it's up to them to fix it. Who's the most important person in her life, HUBBY or bestie?
If bestie has a problem with bi or gay people, then she should be disinvited from the party. If his wife won't do it, then he should, telling the bestie EXACTLY why she's not welcome to HIS celebration. At some point after the party, HUBBY should have a talk with his wife about her misplaced loyalty. It shouldn't be a marriage-wrecking conversation, but he needs to know that she supports him over all others.
@90--Right on, Helenka!
Mr. Ven has a good point, too.
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