I honestly do not understand how people have still apparently have never heard of bisexuality, unless they've been locked inside a fundamentalist compound their entire life and just now have been freed. I'm not trying to be an asshole, I swear, I am just genuinely confused. Totally open to hearing explanations, because I hate being confused.


I think people have heard of bisexuality l- I just think a humongous contingency of people still truly believe that bi people are just gay or straight people closeted one way or the other. I’m not going to bother to look for it, but I think there’s some dats to support it too. Even bi folk self erase allll the time. The sexuality “spectrum” makes it even more confusing for a chunk of bi people. Myself for example- I’m like... 85 or better percent attracted to men. I’ve dated one woman, and only been sincerely attracted to a handful in my life. So I generally call myself straight or heteroflexible... cause I don’t feel like I’ve earned any Bi or queer status. I’ve not been persecuted. I’m married to a man. I think about men 90 percent of the time. Sooo, I feel like I’m taking away from someone else’s more legitimate experience or label if I call myself bi, so I don’t. But this shit is confusing for so many people, and for so many reasons.


qapla With all sincere warmth and supportiveness, feeling you're co-opting the experience of someone more legitimately bi and/or queer is self-erasure. And you didn't say it isn't. If you like men more, and/or more often, you identify bisexual if you identify bixexual.

Complaints (if any) from other marginalized people about how you present are not something you have to respect. And ridicule for not having eaten pussy, or, God forbid, enough pussy, actually is persecution. Having to live with confusion about your own sexuality is often persecution. While I haven't been on the receiving end of that as an individual, I get exposed to it routinely as part of the mythical group of bisexual women who either don't exist or are bad at it.

My take on your thoughts is only that, of course.


100% gay. so gay, she probably watches Gentleman Jack!


Look, everyone has a list of attributes that they are seeking for in a partner - some of these attributes you only know on a subconscious level (and also because people tend to not be completely honest with themselves about desires that are different from 'mainstream desires' aka. young, hairless body, slim, big tits/dicks, etc. You get the idea). For a lot of people, the right gender is a really important attribute but for a not insignificant number of people, gender is just insignificant on their list. I love my husband, I always had a tendency to be more easily attracted in a romantic way to men, but - duh - in general I find women more sexually attractive. I still really like the sex with hubby, though. As long as you truly enjoy sex with your hubby and you don't force yourself to anything, you are certainly not homosexual, you are simply bisexual. And I am sure you have heard of heterosexual and homosexual people breaking up with their significant other because they were sexually bored, divorce rate is like 45% where I live. These people are definitely not all secretly gay or straight.


L-dub, relax. Being that manic over your sexuality isn't going to help you solve anything. Are you an anxious wreck in life generally, or just over this? Just focus on chilling out and then let the rest follow. Easier said than done, but essential nonetheless.


She mentioned OCD at the end which is commonly also known as the “doubting disease” because, well, you doubt and obsess over things that probably aren’t real. Obsessing over being gay is common with OCD, so it’s also totally possible she has OCD and is not bi. Either way, bi or not, OCD or not, she should find a good LGBTQ friendly therapist with experience with anxiety disorders and figure that out for herself!


Oh, I can relate to this, in large strokes. I have anxiety, am a woman married to a man, and I identify as bi but sometimes wonder if I'm closer to lesbian who just loves my husband. (For the record, he independently came to the same musing.) And here's what I've decided it comes down to:

Am I happy with the man I married?

My answer is yes. So, nothing else really matters. Whatever label may or may not fit, I have a husband I love who loves me, and we have fun, satisfying sex. So it's all good.

LW, anxiety/OCD makes it easy to focus on the small stuff. Try zooming out to the big picture, it might reassure you.


Most of my sexual desire for women appears in the form of dreams also. I don't know why this is. Usually this feels genuine but I also sometimes have sexual dreams about women I have no feelings for in reality.

It's also possible for it to be OCD. It's pretty common for OCD to cause an obsessive fear of being gay, even with no evidence of being gay or experiences of same sex attraction. If you're less fortunate OCD can also cause an obsessive fear of being a pedophile so count your blessings I guess.


I understand that people seem to find labels helpful, but you really should not be concerned with adhering to them. If you "are" a lesbian, you still want and desire your husband, regardless of how dykey your haircut used to be.

Here's the answer for LW: Are you doing what you enjoy doing, and being with who you want to be with? Yes? Case closed, that's who you are.


Am married to a man, have OCD, and am bisexual. Like one of the earlier commenters, I didn't claim that identity for a long time because I hadn't dated women (I've actually never dated anyone besides my husband, we were high school sweethearts) but within the last few years, I've been quite open about my orientation.

I'm happily monogamous and have two kids, both of whom know that I'm bi.

Bi people aren't always exactly evenly split in their preference, that's actually pretty rare. It's also common to fluctuate in your orientation and experience a stronger preference for a particular gender for a while (sometimes known as riding the bi-cycle).

Given the OCD, it may be worth talking to your therapist, or embracing the ambiguity as an exposure. For people treating their OCD, "maybe" is a powerful word.




Short version of this letter: I find some men hot and I find some women hot. I don't find some women hot and I don't find some men hot. Yes, you're bi but just because you're bi doesn't mean every woman is going to interest you. Straight people don't find every member of the opposite sex attractive so why would bi people find every person attractive?


I’m glad PirateCat mentioned that people’s sexuality can fluctuate over a lifetime — I was going to bring that up. The way you describe yourself, however, sounds like an average straight woman to me. Maybe heteroflexible... greater than a 0 on the Kinsey scale, but less than a 3. In any case, you love your husband and are attracted to him — that is great! Not everyone is so lucky.


Max @5, how nice to see you on the advice pages, and always with such wisdom.


Good comment VP @9 and Sportlandia @11. Labels are guides only, no need to get caught up in how to define oneself rather than enjoying the feelings and desires which arise, and behaviours which may result.


I wouldn't even say this woman's bi as much as she's brought into the stereotyping of people around her (the short hair and being a barber). The last time she actively wanted to do anything with a woman was when she was 12, she loves male attention and gets massively off on her husband. The only time she thinks of women sexually is in dreams (which means almost nothing because dreams are odd). More likely this is her OCD causing her to worry about this despite her feelings.


can made-up people be gay?


OK, I phrased that badly. Obviously, a lot of gay people wear makeup.
Can fictional people in made-up letters to Dan be gay, or bi, or straight, I mean, given that they don't exist in the first place?


LW seems to have a lot of angst about her sexuality, but the examples she provides are a childhood event, noticing the sexual attractiveness of one actress, being propositioned once by a college friend (to whom she was not sexually attracted), and some suspicious logic people who connected hair length and/or profession (barber) to sexual orientation (which isn't even about her own sexual feelings), aren't very suggestive that she might be something other than straight. Even finding women more interesting to look at then men, isn't particularly convincing.

LW did not mention having sexual fantasies about women in her orbit, for instance, a friend, a woman at the gym, or a barista. Nor did LW describe fantasizing about sex with women while having sex with her husband. Nor did LW describe masturbating while fantasizing about sex with women, or watching porn specifically to see naked women or women having sex. Any of these would be more convincing that she might be something other than straight.

I wonder whether LW comes from a religious background in a conservative region, which has led LW to focus on and worry about some innocuous and stray thoughts.

In any event, this is easy to put to the test. LW can start by mentally exploring her attraction, if any, to women. If she finds herself getting off thinking about sex with women, she can ask her husband if exploring this is something with which he would be ok. It sounds like it might be. And after being sexual with a women will have a definitive answer.


Canola Rice @3: your poetry is terrible.

LW: if you're married and monogamous it's pretty irrelevant if you'd also bang Thor, Valkerie, Jeff Goldblum, Loki, or a combination. You're happily banging your husband, so chill.


Traffic @22: Canola Rice is Commentor Commentatus. It's not poetry, it's trolling. Ignore.

Deep @1: I've known about bisexuality for 30+ years, have actively dated and fucked and loved both men and women, and still sometimes, when I'm having a particularly-attracted-to-people-of-one-gender phase, I question my sexuality. The messages that bisexuality doesn't exist are pervasive. It takes just one comment like this:
to make someone who's susceptible to other people's opinions because they are unsure about themself to buy into that "you're either gay or you're straight" lie. Women in particular are told that bisexuals are only doing it to get attention. Bisexuality is stigmatised. SCURRED sounds very young; I myself was a young married bisexual who thought I couldn't identify as such without having had the experience to "prove" it. SCURRED, listen to Dan: You have sexual desires for both genders, therefore you are almost certainly bi. Welcome to the family!

Qapla @2: I agree, as a card carrying bisexual, you are welcome into the family too. The more people stop rounding themselves up or down because they are not "50/50", the more people like SCURRED will feel confident in coming out and embracing their full sexual selves.

Philo @7: "Manic"? Check your straight privilege. This is important to her, as it is to all queers.

Donny @13: Good call, if they can arrange it.

Azul @15: How does PirateCat sound like an "average straight woman"? She has had one sexual partner, which is well below average for anyone of any orientation. Falling in love with one's life partner when young, before discovering one's sexual orientation, is fairly common for bisexuals -- I did it. Once more for the people in the back row: Bisexuals can be monogamous, this does not mean they are no longer bisexual.

Lava @17: More straight privilege talking. Labels can be liberating. Until I saw the word bisexual, I was as confused as SCURRED. Once I saw that there was a word for what I was, a huge amount of the angst I was suffering over these confusing attractions evaporated for me. I think SCURRED will similarly benefit if she adopts the bi label for herself. That does not mean she needs to print it on a T-shirt and parade it around, but it does mean she can stop hand-wringing over whether she is one of two things she clearly is not.

Lesbi @18: Good point that a tomboyish haircut and interests do not make one queer. And another good point that she does not report current sexual attraction to women; she just says they are pleasant to look at (which they are, as they certainly make a lot more effort in that regard than most men). More investigation is necessary. Does lesbian porn turn her on? I think she should seek a hall pass to sleep with a woman, before she has kids (since this seems important to her), to find out for sure.

Traffic @22: Again, one's sexual identity is important. It's rude for you to dismiss her by telling her it isn't.


The key point here for me is that SCURRED has the love and support of her husband, who is not threatened by her bi orientation or lesbian feelings. (Possibly he recognises her bisexuality for what it is and does not believe, or hasn't seriously considered, that she will leave him on that score). SCURRED should come out to herself over her bisexuality, to him, then, in all likelihood, sit on it and think for a while. Her being bi isn't at all a reason to leave her husband. It’s not something that will prevent her having a child. Does she want to have sex with a woman? Have a relationship with a woman? How could that fit with her marriage? These are questions she will have to consider down the road.

Incidentally, I would think people like CanolaRice @3 do 'opposition research' on SL / people like us all the time; and I don't think their voices, however inhumane, should be scrubbed. Hopefully people like SCRUBBED--questioning people brought up with a robustly simple or binary view of orientation--will be able to assess their words and find them wanting.


Azul @15: Apologies; you were addressing the LW, not PirateCat, when you said "you sound like an average straight woman." I'm not straight so I'll have to let the straight women of the board, average or not, speak about whether they have experienced sexual confusion like SCURRED describes.


@23. Bi. Everybody keeps fingering some right-wing troll called Commentator Commentatus (well, he has been sufficiently commentatus) but I would think this page might well have a number of socially conservative lurkers. Why should they not comment? Why should conservative messages about abstinence, faithfulness, repentance, self-abnegation, self-denial, and so on, not be part of the discussion about people's life-choices? My guess is that we would convert many conservatives to greater open-mindedness and tolerance by engaging with them calmly. Some might even let go of their fears and self-panic.

@9. Victorian Platypus. But your OCD hasn't stamped your ticket for life. It doesn't mean you can only have sex with your husband.

@21. Sublime. SCURRED also said she had a crush on a man in her 20s. Presumably she didn't act on it. It doesn't sound to me as if she had sex before marriage. Or was in a context, culturally, where premarital sex was expected or thinking through one's sexuality something everyone did as a matter of course. Her gay feelings, as she describes them, are as intense as her straight feelings.


I don’t think it is ‘straight privilege’ Fan @23; because it’s not just with orientation where labels are used and people tie themselves into knots letting the label define them ie mental health conditions. Which is the point my comment was making. Labels being there as guides.
Yes they help, as hearing of bisexuality helped you understand who you are.
Like posters here are saying, there is a continuum. So what is the cut off point. I’ve had fantasies about being with women, does that make me bi too? This LW is having some sort of crisis about stuff many women who don’t identify as bi, experience.
Crushes on girls at twelve, a Uni friend wanting some sexual contact with one.
The barber angle is a little weird and maybe it does point to a fake letter as slomo @18 suggests.


Harriet @26: It's the writing style, rather than the content, that gives Commie away every single time.

Lava @27: Thanks for clarifying. Labelling and pigeonholing are definitely related. If you don't feel bi, you can certainly write off your female fantasies as just that, but for this LW they seem to be a far more important part of her self. Where "straight privilege" comes into it is that we are all assigned to the presumed, default orientation; straight people never have a need to question this and therefore many don't understand why a label might be helpful rather than constraining.


@2 I think people's discomfort with bisexuality is also born out in the way many people come out. Many of the people I know have gone through an "I'm bi" phase before realizing, "Nope, I'm gay." So it's hard to take bisexuality at face value at first - is this real or a phase. That's not to say that people aren't bisexual (and I'd maybe even argue that most people are to some extent) - just that the identity is confusing because it's sometimes a stage of acceptance and sometimes an accurate descriptor.

Of course, the other part is stupid male bullshit about how you have to be gay or straight. Most people seem comfortable with the eternal bisexuality of most women and resistant to the concept that a guy isn't somehow lying to himself and society. That's just centuries of prejudice and homophobia warping our minds.


Since you are Bi, consider having a threesome with a girl and your husband. He would probably be into it, as most men are. That way, as Dan says, you CAN have it all.


I really dislike the idea that bisexuals are automatically into threesomes. I know sex with multiple people is one of the most common fantasies but I have never fantasized about this. I have a lot of unorthodox fantasies but they all involve one person at a time. Also if someone is trying to pinpoint exactly what turns them on adding multiple genders to the mix will probably just confuse things further.


@23 Never stop being casually insulting demeaning, mean and giving people's words new meaning. It is a great look for you.


White women... good grief.


Comment @32: This is a very good point. I was keen that my first sexual experience with a woman be one-on-one, for this reason. Threesomes can be challenging even when everyone involved is aware of their sexuality. However, if Mr SCURRED is adamantly against the idea of giving her a hall pass, a threesome might be better than never having a same-sex experience of any kind.

Philo @33: You're the one who called LW "manic," speaking of being casually insulting and demeaning. I merely queried your word choice. Relax.

Slovenly @34: Who said she's white? Queer women of colour exist, too.


One on one or threesome, it doesn't sound like LW has any interest in any sexual relationship with a woman. Unless she has omitted a large amount of feelings from her letter, she has had no feelings of attraction to a woman since she was a young teenager. LW, stop worrying, just continue enjoying being with your husband and having what sounds like a very good and healthy relationship.


@23 You're from a white suburban family, of course you wanted a label. No wonder you can't look at other humans as individuals, you never really wanted to be an individual in the first place.


@35 She's white - It's the writing style, rather than the content, that gives it away.


Slomo @ 20 - If one can believe that a fictional character has any of the attributes of an actual living being (through the process known as suspension of disbelief), then yes, that character can be gay, straight or bi to them (among many other things).

Dan's often said that he answers letters that seem fake because the subject might be relevant to someone else out there, so there's little point in debating if a particular letter/LW is fake.

BDF @ 23 - "she just says they are pleasant to look at (which they are, as they certainly make a lot more effort in that regard than most men)"

Now, that may be the way you define "pleasant to look at", but it's certainly not everyone's. I happen to be attracted to scruffy, unshaved men who do not even try to follow fashion (as long as they shower daily). Men who don't make any effort to look a particular way, who do not modify their bodies to give a specific image of themselves, who are not worried about their weight (unless it's for health reasons), etc. Manscaping in any form is a crime, IMNSHO. The more effort someone puts into being "pleasant to look at", the less pleasant to look at they become to me. So please be aware that there are differing points of view on this issue.


@40. Ricardo. Showering daily? You have gone over to the ... clean side, the perfectly perfumed, phthalate-proliferating American side. There hasn't been a week in the last ten years I've managed to bathe or shower every single day.

@38. Sportlandia. It's not clear to me the LW is 'suburban'. Not rural / small-town?

It's a massive privilege to think that we're all individuals constricted, compromised or simplified by labels. People of some social, class and racial descriptions, of course, are less individuals than others. Labels can be the basis by which some claim an identity, or post a claim to other people's notice--'I'm queer, see me, recognise me on these terms...'.


@26/Harriet: "SCURRED also said she had a crush on a man in her 20s . . Her gay feelings, as she describes them, are as intense as her straight feelings." Actually, she said she had a huge crush on a man, which seems far more intense than wanting to kiss another girl at age 12 or finding an actress attractive, which seem to be her only evidence of potential non-straight interests.


Ricardo @40, I don’t mind a good fake, a plausible one. This though seems pure mockery,
‘ I wake up thinking I’m gay!’ Also some barber story where her haircut made her question herself, men got so hot for her and she took all that loving home to hubby. I’m calling this busted.
Me too re men shaving, except their faces.
What a crime is that, to shave off chest, armpit, pubic hair. Don’t they know how sexy that hair is to some.
Which reminds me Dan, there have been no hairy armpit images forever. Don’t tell us you’ve gone over to the other side too.


I agree with PhilosophySD, these words are manic, crisis mode etc, Fan, and over what convincing evidence? A few memories, admiring how women look does not a bi or gay make.


cocky @45: Although there are certainly many exceptions, your observation rings basically true in my area as well. It reminds me of the old joke:

What's the difference between a boyfriend and a husband?

Forty pounds.


Harriet @ 41 - "You have gone over to the ... clean side, the perfectly perfumed, phthalate-proliferating American side. "

How dare you! There's a huuuuuuge difference between washing every day and polluting the atmosphere with artifical smells. In case it wasn't clear enough: I like "natural" men. That excludes any sort of cologne, aftershave, etc. Perfume is evil in liquid form.

Lava @ 43 - But I also wake up thinking I'm gay, and it's by no means a mockery! lol

Seriously, though: I'd never heard such thoughts expressed by a woman, so I did find it surprising, but I have met a few straight men with similar concerns. They had seen another man naked and hadn't felt like puking, so surely they must be gay!

Cocky @ 45 - Fitness is the key word, here. But do women really make more of an effort? You don't see too many men on "My 600 pound life". In my personal experience, it's about 50-50.


Ricardo @47: our posts crossed, but I would say that in my visual experience women and gay men make more effort, in general (exceptions exist, disclaim, disclaim), the "male gaze" being more critical (ditto). And although I think it's shifting slightly now, when I was in my teens-twenties, there was a much smaller proportion of cosmetic-style advertising targeted at men ("product" and the like). I distinctly remember advising a male friend who was having some problems getting dates and realizing he had no idea that there might be any reason to pay $50 for a haircut rather than $10 at the mall--or that wearing a slightly fitted T might present a better look than a generic stiff-cotton T-shirt with some random image silk-screened on the front. I think this was true of a lot of guys in my cohort, namely, no one ever gave them much info on what form "giving a shit" about their appearance might take--that's something girls do, and you get annoyed waiting around for them to finish--and so they didn't. The "metrosexual" movement changed that slightly by just making it know that it was, in fact, possible to think about it.


Oh, and the guy I mentioned above had been told repeatedly that "guys care about looks, but girls don't," which I'm sure contributed to his cluelessness about what affects appearance.


Ciods @ 49 - My sample may be skewed, as I know more gay males than straight, and indeed, gays do care more about their looks - way more than I wish they would (personally, I'll take a guy in jeans and a nondescript t-shirt any day over a metrosexual - I'd rather he spent time with me than in front of the mirror).

Actually, I'd say most of them (the gays) are pretty clueless too: they follow fashion and try to look young(er than they are), but that by no means guarantees they'll look good. So many gays seem to work very hard to hide their best features just because they want to wear the latest fashions and follow the newest fads.

That comes from a guy who was once told that he dressed like a lesbian, though, so my opinion isn't necessarily worth much.


I have mild diagnosed OCD and LW’s thought processes sound very familiar, in particular the fear of “having to” break up with her husband. See Relationship OCD and H-OCD. I’d definitely suggest therapy to figure out if that’s what’s going on and if so, develop techniques of dealing with those obsessive thoughts. CBT, mindfulness, and initially a low dose of meds were all very helpful for me. In my case (and perhaps LW’s as well), the obsessive thinking was rooted in a fear of losing people I love rather than a rational question about my feelings/sexuality, which were beside the point and became much easier to address after dealing with the ocd.


@41 I was referring to BDF.


@Ricardo: I'm not a fan of many coiffed looks, either. (My partner is much more on the mountain-man spectrum, appearance-wise.) But there were a few appearance-type things that I always found sort of exasperating that (my small sample of) straight men didn't notice or care about--e.g., it can be nice to own some shoes other than white gym shoes; you can wear clothes that fit, and be slightly aware which colors suit your complexion and which make you look as though you should be taken straight to the hospital; you can condition your hair (especially if you wear it long, as was common/fashionable with guys when I was younger). As a female all that seemed pretty basic to me--the absolute minimum of what I was expected to do. So it bugged me that they really didn't seem to care at all (although I do think even then I knew it was more ignorance than apathy). That's something I think metrosexuals did, or shows like Queer Eye--even though I don't want my men looking that put-together, personally, I was happy that it raised some awareness that steps might be taken other than "roll out of bed, put on ten-year-old too-large concert t-shirt."

Now that the knowledge is more out there, I find a lot more men doing variable levels of it (not just all or nothing) which for me leaves a lot more pretty boys to look at when I wander around a city. In the end I'd say I respect decisions to ignore societal standards about how you present yourself--if you saw me, you'd know that ;)--but I prefer them to be made intentionally, e.g., because someone has found a non-standard expression that works for them, feels authentic to themselves--rather than out of willful ignorance.


LW, I think it’s good to examine yourself once in a while, but not to drive yourself this far into Worry Town. You’re with a partner you like, and who you don’t seem to want to leave; don’t twist yourself in knots stressing about the rest. Sure, explore your identity, but even if you eventually come to identify as a lesbian, nobody’s going to come around and force you to leave him if you don’t want to, so take that worry off the table.

Sexuality is more of a sliding scale than an on/off switch, in my experience; even most people at the far ends, who identify as purely straight or gay, have experienced at least one or two moments of attraction to someone who’s not of their usually preferred gender. That can be for a lot of reasons; maybe the other person is particularly butch, femme, or androgynous, so they squeak past your normal filters. Maybe there’s something especially compelling to you about their personality or mannerisms, something you respond to regardless of gender. Maybe you’ve been stranded together on a desert island (or in a college dorm room) for six months, and hey, why not?

That’s not to say that you might not be bi or pan; you certainly could be! It’s just to say that even the people who clutch the hardest to their labels sometimes find out those labels are more flexible than they’d thought, so don’t get too wrapped up in setting rigid rules for yourself (unless it’s your OCD talking; then you might not have a choice. But you can still probably find a coping mechanism that works for you, so don’t give up hope!).


Lucky you ciods, having a mountain man at home.


Apologies for my typed eye-rolls to those straight people who I now see meant well. I was hoping to express what straight people don't, can't, understand -- that understanding one's sexual orientation is important! And telling someone who is clearly in a lot of anguish to "relax," "chill" or "don't worry about it" isn't helpful.

Sporty @38: Bwahahahaha. If only you knew. Your attempted slight is so far off the mark it doesn't even merit a response.

Ricardo @40: I meant by objective beauty standards. Individual preferences of course vary. See Cocky @45. Women make more of an effort by wearing makeup, shaving, buying clothes that flatter them but are uncomfortable, etc. Ciods @48-49, agreed. It's actually ironic that people who are trying to attract men make much more effort when in my experience, most men don't actually give a crap! (I'll take the bathed and shaved men, thanks, though I agree there is never any need for perfume.)


Part of SCURRED’s anxiety seems to be that she feels attraction to men and women differently, suggesting to her that her ‘real’ attraction is to women.

That seems like a very normal thing to me. I love to look at women, but not so much men. Men’s scent and physical presence (their strength, the way they move) is much more important to me than their looks.

Hopefully these differences can become fun to reflect upon and explore for SCURRED, rather than something to worry about.


Nobody is denying Fan @56, that understanding one’s sexual orientation is important.
If this letter is not a fake, then the person writing it is not very well versed in all things gay or bi, because their examples of why they think they are gay are paper thin. How could they not know this and write all this anguish about nothing? Maybe they are from the Amish sect, yet they have heard of Dan Savage.
A label doesn’t define us, it’s an aid. What defines us is what sort of human beings we are, if we are kind and thoughtful people.


Ms Fan - I respectfully submit that someone gay who pays attention to his own grooming will notice and evaluate that of potential partners - except, of course, for the straight-chasers, who for this as for so many other reasons ought to be considered a separate orientation.

As for women, you come closer to agreeing with Miss Austen than you might have expected. "Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone. No man will admire her the more, no woman will like her the better for it. Neatness and fashion are enough for the former, and a something of shabbiness or impropriety will be most endearing to the latter." Ms Cute will doubtless be able to connect this passage to the mistake from which one of Miss Austen's heroines was saved by the lack of sufficient time to acquire a new dress before the next occasion of meeting the hero.


I think Ms Ods is nearest the mark. It reminds me of a comment of Sandra Bezic's one year when Alexei Urmanov skated a programme as Cagliostro in an elaborate costume with a high hat, that he wasn't just playing dress-up; he took pride in how he presented himself.

I suppose we could also revert to the recent photo of Mr Savage with Ms Daniels, about which there could be much to say on various sides.


I wish SCURRED had inserted paragraph breaks in her wall of text. Or is that Dan's domain? I had to hunt for things I'd read. I can see how she may have been raised ultra-religiously with a strict binary system that controls EVERYTHING in life. But, surely, she should have noticed the shades of grey by now. She reads Dan and appreciates his advice, but hasn't absorbed any insights over the years, not to mention the existence of bisexuality? ::rolls eyes::

She loves her husband but will have to leave him if it's true she's gay. Even if she finds out she's exclusively lesbian, that doesn't mean ending the marriage; it just makes it complicated. She wants children, but believes she can't have them unless she's straight and married. There's that hint of religious indoctrination again. As if she couldn't be exclusively lesbian and use a sperm donor. I think she believes and fears needing to disclose secrets to future children - because she's been taught that her character must be open to constant scrutiny by everyone. Hey, it's just the feeling I get from her words.

She worries (as I have observed people with emotional problems worry) too much about how people see her; she gives too much weight to their perception of her vs her own feelings.

She's so confused about the orientation issue. Now that Dan's actually mentioned the possibility that she might be bisexual, I hope she'll learn more about it. What it is and what it isn't. I've always promoted checking out the Klein Orientation Grid because it takes into consideration one's attraction in the past, present, and wish for the future. The Grid also makes one separate sexual passion and romance, etc.


@51 I'm leaning toward OCD also for the same reason. The reason fear of being gay is such a common fear is because to people who have this fear, being gay means ruining their marriage and having their entire life being a lie. People aren't as paranoid about being bisexual because that just means someone might make fun of you and it probably won't ruin your marriage. I don't have OCD but I was diagnosed with GAD so I'm familiar with this type of fear. It's a form of imposter syndrome, the irrational fear that everything you do is a fraud.


Mr Balls - That doesn't seem all that incompatible, allowing for the forms of different times. The critique is part of the enjoyment, and your acquaintances, while they may not like all their inferiours, probably at least enjoy being able to consider themselves the best-dressed member of a particular circle.

We get a more striking example, though not fashion-related, in Emma, who chose Harriet Smith, her inferior in every way, to be her companion and confidante while avoiding better acquaintance with Jane Fairfax, who, as Mr Knightley suggested, truly was in a number of ways the accomplished young woman whom Emma wanted to be considered. There is also the conversation between Emma and Frank Churchill, in which he related how Mr Dixon, though engaged to Miss Campbell, openly preferred to hear Miss Fairfax's piano playing.

"...How did Miss Campbell appear to like it?"

"It was her very particular friend, you know."

"Poor comfort!" said Emma, laughing. "One would rather have a stranger preferred than one's very particular friend; with a stranger it might not recur again, but the misery of having a very particular friend always at hand, to do everything better than one does one's self."


Ciods @ 53 - Just one thing: You say "roll out of bed, put on ten-year-old too-large concert t-shirt". According to what we've been saying, after ten years, that concert t-shirt is probably way too small.

BDF @ 56 - "I meant by objective beauty standards"

What is objective about them? They're cultural, present-day beauty standards.


Ricardo @65: Ha! Fair point. My memory contains lots of good examples of crappy t-shirts both too large and too small, unfortunately.

(And in case I wasn't clear, I love jeans and a t-shirt. Assuming they at least approximately fit.)


I am a man who is married to a wife that is going through quite the struggle with this right now. She has always identified as bi-sexual (even before we married) and there were times when she was with women alone and times we had threesomes. Recently she has really come out to family, friends and our daughters and identified to them all that she is openly bi-sexual. Even more recently she has started to question if she is really more of a lesbian than bi-sexual. I have always been open to some degree of her having a female partner/friend and I do NOT need to be involved in a threesome nor do I want to. She has posted to many dating sites and has been trying to find a partner and seems like she is getting a lot of brush off from women (understandably) because she is married. This is leading her to question our 25 years together and her real sexuality. This tears be apart because we are best friends and love each other and I accept her for being who she is to the point that I am ok with her having that partner. It would be great if there was a dating site more devoted to this because I believe that there are many women who are in that position and would love at times to be intimate with a man and at times with a woman. We are NOT swingers and there is NO interest in getting into that lifestyle. I am not accepting of another man touching my wife. We are currently trying to figure this out and talking about a difficult separation just so she can explore the gay dating scene as "separated" instead of "married". This is going to create chaos for our kids and me. I really wish people would accept that there are Bi people and maybe it is OK to have a husband and a friend with benefits. I don't think it is that hard. Our marriage has other things that need to be better in communication and sometimes she feels that she is no longer attracted to men sexually however as I read in a previous comment sometimes that pendulum swings back the other way. Anyway - that is my two cents. Also as far as threesomes go...I have been in a few of them and although they seem like they would be amazing there has to be mutual want and desire between all parties. I know that I have been involved in a few where the other woman just really wanted my wife and so I was involved in the threesome however only with my wife while she was being with the other woman. I have NEVER had sexual intercourse with the other woman only oral sex and kissing. I would not be opposed to being involved ONLY if everyone had a mutual desire and attraction to them. Thanks all. Someone should really start a dating site tailored to this (bi sexual) identity. I am sure that there are many other husbands who would love nothing more than to accept and see there wives fulfilled. And she is beautiful so she should have no problem finding a female partner.


I'm a bi woman. I remember thinking that I was straight and surely "all women sometimes fantasize about sexy women."

It was more confusing because I never fantasize in the first person. That's just not something I do. I just think about imaginary people doing sexy things. So it took me some time to realize that I want to do things to women.

It was really freeing to realize that I was attracted to more than one gender and that I could be with whoever made me happy.


Musicman @68: There is! It's called OKCupid. There are lots of queer, non-monogamous people on OKCupid. Your wife should have no problem finding someone else in her position. The trick is, she may have never had to do this before, but SHE needs to make the approaches. For other partnered women, her marital status will be a feature, not a bug. Thank you for being OK with your wife having a girlfriend on the side! You are a treasure and I hope she knows that. And I agree with you completely that a threesome has to involve three people who all want each other, otherwise it's awkward and pointless. Good luck to your wife, from me.


@56 if I only knew what? You're definitely white, and you're definitely from a suburb (or even less urban). Me, I'm from Seattle. MLK Way (back when it was Empire Boulevard), ultimate spending my teen years in Lake City.

That's not so hard. Why don't you share?


This was one of the most confusing letters I’ve read in a while. Are some people really still not aware that being bi is a thing?


Sporty @71: I am not "from a suburb." And I share plenty, lol.


What's with the dislike for perfume? (Ricardo & BDF) A small dose of high quality perfume can be wonderful, for all sexes. All IMHO of course...


@73 Where precisely are you from, then?


@73 c'mon Sharebear! Share some!

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