Open Relationships and Bisexuality

Seems like I’m on a roll since returning to the site!  Let’s get to it, shall we?

One of the “bad raps” bisexuality gets is how it seems to lead to or, at the least, suggest that an open relationship is in order and there is some sense to this since, um, if you need some same-sex action in your life and you’re not already hooked up with someone like this, the only way you’re gonna get it is to go outside of the relationship or, gasp, invite someone into the existing relationship.

For many, the mere thought of this is enough to make someone have to go change their underwear or make a mad dash to get something to settle their stomach down and, yeah, find themselves kneeling before the Great Porcelain God and paying tribute to Ralph.  Logically, it makes sense, you know, if you’re of a mind to do something about that need your partner has and a need that you’re ill-equipped to handle but as I say – and a lot – logic doesn’t stand a chance against an emotional response and the emotional response to both things usually isn’t good and is very damned potent and powerful and enough to override logic and intelligence.

Now, for relationships where both people are bisexual, eh, this might not be that big of a problem except trying to figure out how to do this and without trashing the relationship in some way and thinking about some preemptive damage control should others find out that, um, you’re not exactly keeping only unto yourselves like you’re supposed to.  The biggest problem and the one that plagues a great many bisexuals is that relationship where one person is bisexual… and the other person isn’t.

And now you find yourself in a position of asking someone who isn’t bisexual, wouldn’t be, whatever, to allow you to do something that breaks most of the rules of monogamy and for a reason that has nothing to do with them.  It’s not easy to put the open relationship on the table even when sexuality isn’t at issue but when it is, well, there’s a reason why a lot of bisexuals who’d benefit from this, more often than not, never say anything about it.

One of the things I tell folks who ask me about this is that one of the biggest things is getting your partner to buy-in to this and if you can’t answer this question:  “What’s in it for me?” you’re hosed before the conversation can go any further.  Given this, if you’re not prepared to offer up whatever your partner might want in return for giving permission, you’re hosed.  If the both of you aren’t willing to sit down and talk about everything in this, you’re hosed.  You see, “open relationship” just doesn’t mean being free to do whatever – it also means being open with each other and in ways that most people wouldn’t dream about being… and I can tell you from personal experience that it’s the most frightening and emotionally painful thing I’ve ever experienced.

It’s an emotional kick in the crotch to find out that you’re not everything your partner will ever want and need.  Not that you’re not good enough or anything like that, mind you, but none of us ever really think about something our partner might need that we can’t do anything about and it’s not our fault that we can’t or, um, if wifey has a need for the special touch of a woman, there ain’t a damned thing her very male husband can do about it.

Being bisexual and getting into an open relationship isn’t impossible – it’s just very damned difficult when, again, one part of the partnership isn’t bisexual.  So… what is really needed?

  1.  You need a plan that covers bringing the whole thing up, what you hope to accomplish, what you need, why you need it, how it’s gonna work and what your partner stands to gain or benefit from this.
  2.  Your communications skills have to be more on-point than ever before and, as part of your plan, be prepared to not only answer a lot of questions – and some of them you won’t be able to anticipate – but be prepared to tell it all from beginning to the present and 100% truthfully while understanding that you’re going to be telling them a lot of things they’re not gonna want to hear.
  3.  You also need your partner to tell it all and be totally honest and open about it because, if they don’t, you won’t be able to answer the “What’s in it for me?” question that is so very important – and telling them, “You’d get a happier wife/husband” is a good, valid, and legit answer… but one that’s not enough to feed the bulldog or cut the mustard.  You have to gird your loins and, in bad form, answer their question with a question:  “What do/would you want?” – and then be prepared to not only hear what they might say but to also deliver it.

See, some folks think that actually doing this is the hard part and make no mistake, it’s not as easy as it sounds.  Those three things I wrote are, without question, the hardest three things to do and more when a lot of the things you’re going to have to reveal are things that, normally, you wouldn’t tell anyone for any reason.  That all by itself is enough to make someone not bring the subject up, that and it’s automatically assumed that the answer is going to be not only no but fuck no, followed by getting read the riot act and/or, sadly, some kind of violence ensuing.

I tell people this and they say, “Well, that means I shouldn’t say anything about it, right?” and to be real, no, it doesn’t because if it’s something that needs to be done and you are confident that the relationship, as a whole, is not only strong enough to handle this but will benefit from it, by all means, speak up.  Or like someone told me a long time ago, “If you don’t toot your own horn,  no one is gonna do it for you.”  Other things – and some I’ve said here already – is if you don’t ask, you won’t know and if you don’t try, you can’t fail and probably the best one I can come up with is that if it’s something you really want and need to do, you’ll find a way to make it happen.

The downside is the easy way to make it happen is to introduce some unethical infidelity into things – it’s better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.

One question I’ve heard is, “How do I convince him/her that this is important to me?” and the only answer I can give is, “The best way you can.”  Another is, “What if they don’t wanna hear it?”  Judgement call time – you can leave it alone or, if it really and truly means something to you, “make” them hear it – insist that they hear what’s on your mind and why it is.  My first wife, I have to say, handled this in a very efficient and direct way by telling me, “I’m going to do this whether I have your blessing or not.”  This ultimatum has also been resorted to and no one likes getting punched in the face with one so, to that end, if you find yourself having to do there, you’d better mean it and you’d better be prepared to carry it out; otherwise, it’s just an empty “threat” and one that will be ignored.

Now to the “doing” part.  Now, it can be a bit of a stretch to imagine yourself being intimate with someone else other than your partner but your brain can work that out just fine, well, until you actually have to do it but that’s something else.  In part of your planning to bring this up, I’ve suggested to the person wanting this to imagine one thing, if they can:  Imagine your partner having sex with someone else and if that bakes your noodle, you can get a good idea of how they’re going to react to what you’re thinking about proposing.  Then there’s this:  If that makes you sick to your stomach, find a way to get over it and pretty damned quick because, in a lot of situations and cases I know of – including the one I got bitch-slapped with – the answer to, “What’s in it for me?” is or can be, “You can be free to have sex with anyone you want to…” and, again, you’d better mean this and be prepared to make good on it.

After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander… except when the goose and gander are you and your partner.

See, you have to be able to respond and deal with any objections your non-bisexual partner is guaranteed to bring up, including the obvious fact that married people aren’t supposed to even think about this.  Surprisingly, Dale Carnegie actually wrote a book about how to sell anyone anything and it tell you how anyone can learn to sell air conditioners in hell and ice cubes to an Eskimo… and it actually works because for every objection the other person has, you have a way to, essentially, make it a non-issue.  My favorite is the guy looking a that nice sports car and the salesman asks, “What’s it gonna take for me to put you in this car?” and the guy says, “I dunno – I’d have to talk to my wife about it.”  A legit reason… but the salesman counters with, “Okay, here – use my phone and call her and let’s talk to her!”

You see how it worked?  The reason not to was kicked right to the curb but the not-so-easy part is to be able to keep negating their objections in this but if you’re good at playing the “What If?” game, I’d say you stand a good chance in this.

It’s just not easy and I’m not gonna lie to you or make it seem like it is or should be.  Your argument for this will be more logical than emotional; their response will be more emotional than logical and, again, logic always loses and as indicated by the other person saying these two words:

“Yeah, but…”  That means that, logically and intelligently, they understand what you’re telling them – and the “but” is their emotion-driven response that, strangely, appears to be logical – and it isn’t.

If all of this is making you feel some kind of way – and it ain’t a good way – now you know why a lot of people in need of an open relationship to get the other stuff they need won’t ask for it – it’s too much to think about, too much stuff that has to be done, too much stuff that’s like giving away the store or throwing the baby out with the bath water or, in other words, it’s just not worth the aggravation.  And I say to anyone who feels like this that if your continued mental and physical well-being isn’t worth the aggravation, there’s is something really and seriously wrong with you – and it’s not being bisexual.

The thing is, again, if you don’t ask, you really won’t know how they’ll answer.  Maybe they say no, maybe they won’t – you just cannot ever fail if you never try and if acting on your bisexuality means that much to you, why would you not try?

KDaddy23, Contributing Author

One thought on “Open Relationships and Bisexuality

  1. I live in society also and my experience is individuals, couples who are heterosexual really have no interest in those that identity as lesbian/gay/bisexual. I’ve only observed those involved in the communities believe there is a “bad rap”

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