Married? Yes. Monogamous? Yes. (sigh)

First up in my open forum on what do you want to know about this bisexual (because lord knows I can’t speak for all of them!), question one:

How can a person who is bisexual be married (and monogamous)?

In thinking about how I would try and answer the question, I thought I’d would try and come up with an analogous question. The best I could come up with was well put by my sweetie:

How can it be that a dog can sniff another dogs butt, without wanting to have sex with it?

Sound silly? Yep, I think so too.

I guess I should start at my definition of bisexual. For me it means that I am able to be in a sexual relationship with a person regardless of their gender identity or genitalia–male, female, genderqueer, trans–it all works for me.

This ability however, does not equal necessity. Or even desire. It does not even mean that because I can, I should. It only means I am able. Gender, sexual organs that accompany a person, are not a factor in who I find attractive–sexually or otherwise.

Marriage. Now there is a tricky concept eh? I mean, it seems lately that the whole definition is up for discussion. So what kind of marriage are we talking here, Brittney and K Fed? Perhaps a marriage of convenience (don’t for one second kid yourselves to think this doesn’t happen anymore)? Are we talking civil marriage or a religious ceremony? For me, I prefer the “traditional” understanding of two people, in love, committed to being in a lifelong partnership of laughter, sickness, joys, hardships, triumphs and struggles. I honor and prefer the practice of monogamy; I am a one on one kind of gal. What I find ridiculous is that had my lifelong partner been a man, instead of a woman, my marriage would be recognized by the US government, and all the strings attached—from taxes to hospital visits. But I suppose that is another post altogether.

Now let me say this as clearly as I can: being bisexual (in and of itself) does not affect ones ability to be in a monogamous relationship. One (being bisexual) just is, it is not a choice or preference or request. It just is. The other (monogamy) is about a choice and commitment, fidelity and honoring an agreement. I would contend that anyone who wants to choose monogamy, can. I did not ask, choose or request to have the capacity to love—sexually and emotionally—anyone. I do however, consider it a gift and blessing.

Next up “Do men (people) call themselves bi when they can’t (yet) admit they’re gay?”

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9 thoughts on “Married? Yes. Monogamous? Yes. (sigh)

  1. This question came up in a discussion at our Open and Affirming Committee meeting last week. I don’t get why the idea that a person might be attracted to either men or women means that person would be *constantly* acting on potential attractions. It seems like a case of projecting our shadow notions of sexuality onto someone whose is different. This has long been the default attitude to gay men.
    It’s not like straight people are brilliant at commitment or monogamy themselves.

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  3. Great that you’re answering these questions, I’m sure it will help. Personally, I don’t “get” why bisexual is so confusing to folks, but I think your answer on this is a good one. To me, the most relevant answer is the piece about monogamy being a choice, orientation just is.

  4. I am also bisexual, married and monogamous. This is totally why I spearheaded the charity anthology “To Love and To Cherish”, an anthology which celebrates marriage, family, and commitment with stories of romance and love between women. Sales proceeds go 100% to Marriage Equality USA, http://www.marriageequality.org/

    The anthology is being published in three e-books and one print edition. Two of the e-books have been released already.

    Volume 1: On Bended Knee – http://tinyurl.com/y9f9jos
    Volume 2: With This Ring – http://tinyurl.com/y8mhpt3
    Volume 3: Lives and Wives can be pre-ordered (release date is Feb. 12) at All Romance E-Books: http://tinyurl.com/ydzq528

    Print edition with all 14 stories in 1 volume is being released Feb. 14. Here’s a free sampling: http://tinyurl.com/ycd6vyy

    Support Marriage Equality today! Pick up a copy or three!

    You can learn more about this project and the writers of Sapphicplanet at http://www.sapphicplanet.com

    Lara Zielinsky
    co-editor, To Love and To Cherish (2010)

  5. Tess, it does seem a rather strange thing to do, when I mostly do not care what people think or say about bisexuals. But it really was meeting with a friend, seeing his sincere curiosity, that made me wonder if other friends had similar questions. SO good to see you smiling avatar. 🙂

  6. I’m glad you answered this question. A lot of people do believe that being bisexual means you cannot or do not want to have a monogamous relationship. The logic doesn’t make sense but I guess these falsehoods take on a life of their own. I look forward to the rest of the series.

  7. There is an entire chapter in “The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe” devoted to how monogamy doesn’t make sense for bisexuals. I can also recall a discussion on bisexual.com where someone identified as bi and monogamous and asked how many others there were. She was shouted down as not truly bisexual by the rest of the community.

    THAT’S why it won’t go away.

  8. In response th the “bisexual.com” responses, I’ve found that the majority are confused teenagers (or experimental ones who don’t understand themselves yet) or those who are uncomfortable posting, and are looking for group acceptance rather than understanding of oneself (I’m sure you’ve seen the following on there: “YOU’RE NOT A REAL BISEXUAL. STOP BEING A FAKE!”) and like to point fingers away from themselves. The true lifestyle bisexuals are few and far between.

    I’m not sure if this parallel will apply, but it’s the exact same thing as punk culture. The majority are teens acting out, then insecure people who like to throw around the words “poser, hardcore, soft” etc around, and the true, lifestyle punks couldn’t be bothered to post on a board with such a petty group. I’ve noticed that many lifestyle bisexuals simply watch and laugh (I know I do!)

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