I got a question from a reader seeking advice, and I wanted to respond to him publicly since I think others might benefit from discussing these issues. (This question was posted publicly, so I don’t believe I’m violating his privacy). Here’s the question:
I am a bi male… I say bi because…
- I am attracted to men and women
- I have only dated and had sex with men
-I have kissed women but never dated or had sex with one
– I don’t feel confident with women but would prefer to marry a woman and have kids blah blah over marrying a man.
How soon should I tell a woman that I’ve had had sex/dated men? Should I tell her at all?
As some of you may have noticed, I like to respond to questions by breaking them down into smaller issues, so that’s what I’m going to do.
Issue 1: I have only dated and had sex with men… I have kissed women but never dated or had sex with one
First of all, this is interesting to me since most of the bi guys I hear from have more experience with women. It’s really cool to hear from someone who has more experience with men. I think this is less common because society tends to push men towards women; it’s unusual to find a bi guy who leans towards men.
Second of all, this issue is important because one might wonder why you have only dated men. My biggest worry is that you have only dated men because you are more attracted to men, and that now you only want to date a woman for convenience/societal acceptance reasons.
I don’t ever think it’s a good idea to settle for something (someone) that is not your ideal. If you prefer men, you should be with a man. You only get one life (I think), and I would not want to waste it on a life long compromise. I would give up convenience and social acceptance to get what I really want.
Your question wasn’t clear on why you have only dated men, so if it’s not because you prefer men, then read on to my advice about dating a woman. Just make sure you aren’t dating women to settle.
Issue 2: I don’t feel confident with women but would prefer to marry a woman and have kids blah blah over marrying a man.
If your lack of confidence is just due to… jitters (the kind that all straight guys get when talking to pretty girls), I suggest you dive in and ask out some girls. Be polite and respectful, and I’m sure women will be thrilled, and you’ll build more confidence. As a bi man dating men, you get the benefit of understanding a little more about the other person’s gender. But when you date women, you lose that advantage. You have to swim in unknown waters. Just like the rest of us.
But, keep in mind that if you’re lack of confidence is due to the fact that you really feel more comfortable dating men, maybe you should reevaluate whether dating a woman is the right thing.
As for having kids, it is of course easier to have a baby with a woman. But don’t forget that a lot of same sex couples adopt children or use a surrogate. Just something to keep in mind.
Issue 3: How soon should I tell a woman that I’ve had had sex/dated men? Should I tell her at all?
Yes, you should tell her. That is a resounding YES.
Two reasons: First of all, you want to be open and honest with your partner, etc. etc. We all know about doing the right thing, being honest, whatev. BUT the second reason is a more practical one, and to me it’s more compelling: There is always a chance she will find out anyway. If she finds out later you may end up with a ruined relationship much further down the line- not just because you are bi, but because you lied about it. Better to get it all out in the open before you have kids, a mortgage, and less chance of finding a subsequent partner. So tell her, and if she reacts badly, better to know sooner rather than later.
And how soon should you tell her? This is a really tough one. My first thought would be, you have to tell her before you start sleeping with her. Why? I don’t know… Women tend to view sex as a milestone, and she might feel deceived if you get her into be before revealing this information.
Buuuuut on the other hand, bisexuality isn’t THAT big a deal, and if it doesn’t come up until later… I sort of feel like that’s okay too.
I asked Jay for his perspective because I thought his insight might be more helpful. We had the following conversation:
Ultimately he said “I would never consider dating someone seriously that I felt would not be okay with my sexuality. When I would tell someone is all about when I think it’s the right time.”
Main Advice: Start dating/kissing/sleeping with some women to make sure that’s really what you want. Be open to the idea that you might find you enjoyed men more, and if that’s the case, be open to the idea of ending up with a guy.