Of course, some people do go both ways. - Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) in The Wizard of Oz
A reader writes:
When I met my girlfriend she told me that she is bisexual and had been only with girls for two years; at first it only bothered me a bit, but the more I think about it the more insecure I feel. She says she’s only been with two girls, one for a night and the other for seven months; she insists that it was just a phase of her life. But I still feel hurt so I hope you can help give me peace on this.
I’m not sure why you should be bothered, hurt or insecure about her bisexuality; would you be equally concerned if she claimed to be wholly heterosexual? Trust is trust, and fidelity is fidelity; a bisexual girl isn’t any more likely to cheat on you than a strictly straight one would be, merely because she has a wider range of sexual partners. Bisexuality isn’t a sign of wantonness or sluttishness; it’s just that women are far more sexually fluid than men are. As I explained in my column “Ice Cream in the Hand”,
…rather than being “target-specific” as men are, women tend to move around the sexual spectrum depending upon their environment, circumstances and experiences. In other words, though most gay men really are “born that way,” that’s not so true of women, who are much more likely to move between heterosexual and homosexual relationships over time as their conditions change…This is why an open-minded woman can often be talked into swinging, BDSM or some other “kink” that she may not really have been interested in to start with; it’s not necessarily that she has a deep psychological affinity for the activity, but rather that she loves the person who does the talking and as a result can “flow” in that direction unless the process is obstructed by guilt, sexual hang-ups, fear, busybody friends or the like.
It’s all part of the way we’re wired; I explain it pretty thoroughly in the column I linked above. The point is, women really can go through “phases”, so if she says dating a girl exclusively for seven months was a “phase”, that could very well be true. For example, my “little girl” Denise went through an exclusively lesbian stage for several years but hasn’t actually dated a girl for over a decade now. Her bisexuality hasn’t “gone away”; she’s still sexually attracted to women, but doesn’t get into dating relationships with them any more. That doesn’t even mean she’ll never date another woman again, just not right now. I’m bisexual as well, and though I’ve never really had an exclusive lesbian relationship, I’ve had plenty of non-exclusive ones. Perhaps one day I’ll meet a girl who is as attracted to me as I am to her, and if that happens my husband’s already given his permission for me to fool around with her or even develop a relationship. However, if it never happens again I’m not going to cry over it or anything, and if he was less sanguine about it I wouldn’t be any more tempted to cheat on him with chicks than I am with guys…which is to say, not at all.
There is one further point which you may not have thought of: a bisexual girlfriend might – just might, mind you – be far more open to a ménage à trois with another woman than a strictly hetero girlfriend might be. Next time you feel bothered or insecure, contemplate that possibility and maybe you won’t find your lady’s predilections quite so troubling.