Bisexual Monogamy

(Originally posted on May 7, 2013 at I Dig Your Girlfriend.)

I’ve noticed something since coming out, and I’m not sure if I should be bothered by it or not. I can’t say it’s a trend – can two people be a trend? – but coupled with other bisexual experiences I’ve read about, it seems to be a thing I can’t escape by the very nature of my sexual orientation.

I have officially dated two people since coming out, both of them have been men. Both of them knew I am bisexual, both of them knew my experience with women is limited, and both of them kept insisting I should explore my sexuality by dating women on the side.

I suppose now is a good time to clarify that I am very much a monogamous person. I can’t even casually go on a date with one person one week and a different person the next, unless I’ve completely ruled out the first person. I think I make this clear, as a general rule, to those I get beyond the point of casual dating with. I can’t focus on more than one person at a time to that degree; trying to maintain and further intimate relationships with multiple people would exhaust me.

Yet since coming out, the men I’ve dated have insisted I should carry on with what are essentially – in my mind – affairs! There have been arguments about it, like these straight men know what’s best for me as a bisexual woman and I’m obviously deluded about how bisexuality works. Neither of them wanted a free pass to also date women on the side, and neither seemed bothered by the idea of me forming intimate physical and emotional relationships with women. Continue reading “Bisexual Monogamy”

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My Differently-Sexed Choice

Guest post by PhebeAnn.

In her post “The Same-Sex Choice,” Kate posted this quotation from Robyn Ochs:

Many lesbians and gay men believe that bisexuals have less commitment to ‘the community’, and that whatever a lesbian or gay man might have to offer to their bisexual partner will not be enough to outweigh the external benefits offered to those who are in heterosexual relationships. […] What gets lost in the fear is the fact that same-sex relationships also offer benefits not available in heterosexual relationships: the absence of scripted gender roles, freedom from unwanted pregnancy, the ease of being with someone with more similar social conditioning, and so on.”

I can relate to Ochs’ and Kate’s appreciation of the benefits offered by a same-gender relationship.

I am a bisexual woman who is primarily attracted to other women. From the age of 17 to the age of 21, I identified as a lesbian. I’ve never been particularly interested in dating men. This lack of interest is less because I’m more physically attracted to women of all gender presentations than because of the things Ochs talks about above, and that Kate talked about in her piece. Women tend to be socialized to be more communicative, empathetic and emotionally open. Women tend to be less easily offended when their femininity is threatened than men do when their masculinity is threatened. Two women by default must negotiate relationship roles apart from how these would arbitrarily be designated by gender.

Because of all these appealing elements of a same-gender relationship, paired with my strong sexual attraction to women, I always thought I’d end up in a monogamous or monogamish relationship with a woman. When my first long term relationship of six years ended – a polyamourous relationship with a woman – I had no plans to date men. When I felt ready to date again, I put up profiles on dating sites where I sought to date only women. But before long I was in a monogamish relationship with my best friend/neighbour Jon, a straight cisgender man. Continue reading “My Differently-Sexed Choice”

My Invisible Girlfriend

(Originally posted on April 26, 2014 at I Dig Your Girlfriend)

Having a girlfriend is awesome.

Before Kate, I used to have an idea in my mind of what it would be like to be in a relationship. I was right about some of it, and wrong about some of it. I knew that being in love would be amazing, but I also worried that, as an introvert, I would struggle with not having enough time to myself.

Fast forward to now. It’s Saturday morning, and Kate has been out of town since Thursday. She isn’t due back until tomorrow evening. Old Mo would have relished this opportunity for quality alone time. Present Mo, on the other hand, started missing her before she even left, and cannot wait for tomorrow to get here.

I spent my single years imagining what it would be like to have a girlfriend. I pondered, and dreamed, and developed a myriad of assumptions that I would eventually be wrong about. There was one detail in particular that I had taken for granted. I had always figured that, when I finally did find a girlfriend, she would be a lesbian.

I was approximately half wrong. Continue reading “My Invisible Girlfriend”

The Wedding That Wasn’t

Kate and I got married last year, on September 27.

This wasn’t our first chosen date. It wasn’t our second or third, for that matter. We had originally settled on 2016, to give ourselves plenty of time to get everything done. We spent months making plans, changing plans, scrapping plans. We were going to get married in Nova Scotia in October, then Edmonton in June, then Nova Scotia in July. It would be a big wedding, or maybe really small, or perhaps sort of medium?

We navigated dozens of websites, flipped through tourism guides, and Google-mapped venues. We scrutinized photography samples, and menus, and guest accommodations. We took notes. We made spreadsheets. And, just like every TV couple you see planning a wedding, we lost our minds in the process. Continue reading “The Wedding That Wasn’t”

Reloading the Label Gun

Guest post by Conar.

Coming out of the closet. Almost universally part of the LGBTQ+ experience. Whether it’s your entire collection of Facebook friends, your immediate family, or just one trusted confidant, most of us have had that experience of finally opening up to someone about an important part of our identity. And it’s usually a rather harrowing experience, at that. Even if those you are confiding in react well, building up the nerve to reveal something about yourself that is still often looked down on, even hated, and for many of us, not even considered to be a “real” orientation or identity, can be a nigh-on Herculean task. Continue reading “Reloading the Label Gun”

The Same-Sex Choice

“Many lesbians and gay men believe that bisexuals have less commitment to “the community”, and that whatever a lesbian or gay man might have to offer to their bisexual partner will not be enough to outweigh the external benefits offered to those who are in heterosexual relationships. […] What gets lost in the fear is the fact that same-sex relationships also offer benefits not available in heterosexual relationships: the absence of scripted gender roles, freedom from unwanted pregnancy, the ease of being with someone with more similar social conditioning, and so on.”

Robyn Ochs, “Biphobia”

From Getting Bi, Second Edition.

I’m sure part of me will always be suspicious of my queerness. Since my wife has been the only woman I’ve been in a relationship with, when I think of dating women vs. men, something makes me pause and wonder if it’s women, or just Mo. But then I remind myself that gender is a huge part of someone’s identity, so it’s impossible to look at it as women or Mo.

Either way, the selection above from Robyn Ochs’ piece really hit me.

While not really an activist in my feminism, I am nonetheless staunchly feminist with regards to my life. In all my dealings with men – family, friends, lovers – I have always felt the need to prove myself as equal. I had to be just as tough, just as strong, just as handy. My father frequently told me as I grew up that he wanted me to be able to get through life not needing a man for anything; not to house me, not to pay my bills, not to fix my car. This became my mantra for life: not needing a man. Anything a man could do, I could do just as well, if not better. My older brother fueled my competitive drive. Dressing more and more masculine as I entered high school, I veered towards sports like Taekwon-do, archery, and cycling. I refused anything pink, wore mostly men’s clothing, and started an almost annual tradition of chopping my long hair off. Continue reading “The Same-Sex Choice”

A Wife By Any Other Name

It seems to me, especially given my own experience, that women can get away with homoerotic behaviours far more than men can. Before – and since – coming out, I’ve made comments about my attraction to women and have had it accepted without the batting of a single eye. Many women talk about their female friends as girlfriends in a completely platonic fashion. Even confessed crushes have been brushed aside with nonchalant waves; intense feelings of attraction towards women apparently being a common occurrence amongst even the straightest of women. Continue reading “A Wife By Any Other Name”

Copycat Queer

Fifteen years ago, I became a vegetarian.

I’d never really liked meat, unless it was a neatly trimmed chicken breast or the hyper processed junk you get at McDonald’s or other fast food places. Juicy homemade burgers made me gag. I had little interest in steak. I hated pork, and would nip tiny bites into the back of my mouth, swallowing them whole just to avoid tasting it or feeling its texture.

We had family stay with us during summer when I was young – aunt, uncle, and cousin. For medical reasons, they had adopted a vegetarian diet, so we provided as much vegetarian fare as possible. Before this, I had no idea you could opt out of eating meat. I learned a few years later from my cousin that my mother had taken her aside to ask her not to encourage me towards vegetarianism. But the desire not to eat meat was already strong in me. I became vegetarian shortly after their visit, to my parents’ dismay. Continue reading “Copycat Queer”