Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why the Bi-Married Man "Win-Win" isn't bullsh*t

In response to my last post, The "Win-Win" Solution for Struggling Bi-married Men, Nick from Fort Wayne, Indiana said, "This is bullshit! This approach sounds one step removed from pray-the-gay away, I've tried both (your win-win above) - it does NOT stop the inner conflict, it may push it down for a period, again & again, but each & everything it comes back front & center, it returns with even more force than the last time, ultimately something has to give/break. Your win-win then just becomes a delaying tactic for the guy & the wife has been drug father down the proverbial rabbit hole, believing she has an influence over this own scenario."

Nick was not the only critic. Austin said that my advice fails to address the fundamental, underlying problem: a lack of sexual attraction. "I'd posit that many problematic 'bi' marriages seem to be based on the notion of 'I really care about her and love her, so maybe we can pull this off even if I'm not sexually attracted to her' - that's the original problem, and you're just suggesting they go right back to it as the solution."

Actually, I'm suggesting that they go right back to it FIRST. Soon I will be posting a Part Two to the "win-win" solution and that will (hopefully) explain how a struggling bi-married man can find enduring happiness even when the first step is a flop.


Like many straights and gays, Nick and Austin are skeptical about married men who primarily have sex with men and call themselves bisexual. The phrase, "bi now, gay tomorrow" comes to mind.

I'll admit that I can be very skeptical too. I've had plenty of now-gay men tell me that they once believed they were bisexual. The thing is, labels are irrelevant in the context of the "win-win." The twin goals are happiness, or, happiness. Labels don't define happiness, people do. So...with respect to implementing the "win-win" it doesn't matter what a guy thinks his orientation is. All that matters is that he be determined and sincere when doing it.

The most warranted criticism of the "win-win," at least as I've presented it so far, is that I did not offer any evidence that it works. Well, this post and the next several are intended to offer proof that it can work. I'll be sharing six stories, and my own, about men who did (or are) implementing the first phase of the "win-win" solution. Decide for yourself if they seem happy...

"Win-Win" Story One: Regret

What originally caused me to think of the "win-win" was my own situation.

My wife was never very clear about it at the time, but after we split up I learned that she felt very unappreciated and undesired by me. That made her feel empty and dissatisfied.

The only clue she sometimes dropped was to complain that I didn't pay enough attention to her. I never understood what she was talking about - we were always together! Too bad I didn't know then that "time" and "attention" cannot be substituted for true intimacy.

As for my own satisfaction while we were together, I found it.

Getting naked, being affectionately expressive and sharing an orgasmic high with another guy made me think that hooking-up is what made me happy. And it did, for a little while. But what I most wanted, what we all want, is regular, hot sex with someone who makes us feel special - someone who touches our soul in the deepest, most meaningful ways.

For many years, I tried to find that special connection with a man. Then, on one unremarkable Spring day in 2003, I realized I was chasing a fantasy.

Once I accepted that I was never going to get what I wanted, the need to hook-up faded away. Weeks went by and I realized that I was happier NOT hooking-up. It was a huge relief not to have to lie and hide and feel guilty. More than that, it felt good to behave honorably.

One of my biggest regrets in life is that I never tried to pursue the same kind of life-changing, heart-stopping emotional connection that I wanted with a man, with my wife. If I had tried, would she have felt fulfilled by me? Would she have put more effort into our relationship? Would we be happily together for the rest of our lives?

I will never know the answers to those questions and that makes me very, very sad. In spite of her many flaws, it is impossible to imagine that I will ever find a man who I will love more.

My story isn't exactly an example of why the "win-win" works (those stories will follow), but it should serve as a warning to others. If you explore with men, your marriage will suffer, even if there is no obvious conflict. Likewise, if you cheat but never pour your heart and soul back into your marriage, you will forever be at risk of losing the one person you always expected to be by your side.

Sometimes you get a chance to salvage what you had, but not always.

Sometimes there are no second chances.


  1. I'm actually not going to address the topic, but I wanted to point out something:

    "But what I most wanted, what we all want, is regular, hot sex with someone who makes us feel special - someone who touches our soul in the deepest, most meaningful ways.

    For many years, I tried to find that special connection with a man. Then, on one unremarkable Spring day in 2003, I realized I was chasing a fantasy."

    I think you need to seriously re-read that statement and, if possible, discuss it with a qualified therapist. There's something there that strikes me as "broken" and/or self-deceptive.

  2. Cameron & Austin, I too was struggling how to reply to this posting - I so just think you have talked in circles Cameron (& not for the first time - blunt!)..but Austin hit this on the head. When you (or any of us for that matter) where seeking "love" from a guy, all we where in reality where able to find was sex (hopefully intimate sex), but all the same you where not emotionally available to fall in love with a guy, as you where still "bi", in love with your wife, or at least still keeping the idea that is was you had going on. Regular hot sex does not equal connecting your soul to someone (man or woman). Its NOT about Sex - that's not what makes you gay (sex is how you show it). You and EVERY guy that is still in someway attached to their old life, a woman or the notion of being "bi" - are artificially holding yourself back from being open to finding that emotional connect with another man. I still remember & will NEVER forget, how dating my first true (& out relationship) boyfriend was something I'd never experienced before, with a man or woman.

    Austin is right, you need to re-examine your own thought process, you are not connecting the dots correctly.

    One other comment, your win-win might be possible if a guy has not ventured to far in his own mind (and especially in person/physically)about the feelings and attractions for men he has. He may be able to keep the walls of straight around his mind and suppress those feelings, to enable the relationship to grown with his spouse. However, again your logic is flawed - that's how we all start out in our str8 relationships, but over time we allow a little more & more of the male attractions to be investigated, ultimately taking it out of our heads & porn and acting on it in person. Again, I tell you at that point its been too much over too much time & the guy already knows (& still deny's) his attractions to men are real. This can not be shut off or shut down over long periods, it will always become an ever increasing struggle for the guy. Look at the churches attempt to put guys back in the closet & they have a huge amount of powerful family based psychology backing them up. Yet the failure rate is nearing 100%.

    Many people would love to believe your win-win scenario, but I believe the overwhelming evidence points to this does not work (perhaps in a few isolated cases) - I think we all have a duty to be honest about what is causing this and that the honest fix is for families to accept the gay person & work out their own solution for a new relationship between all parties involved. Also, in most cases very few people are going to be willing to allow anything less than monogamy - therefore separation/divorce is the most practical solution.

    I rambled on as usual....thanks for allowing us the opportunity to explore this (I'm actually writing an article for Bonnie at the Straight Spouse Support Network on this subject)

    Nick, Fort Wayne IN

    1. Hiya Nick - Thanks for your comment. The best reply I can make is to ask that you patiently wait for part two. The issues you bring up are very important and they will be addressed.

      Please notice that I've never once suggested that anyone try to shut off, shutdown, or deny their attraction to men. The first part of the "win-win" is about making an honest effort WITH your wife to dramatically improve intimacy with her. This is very different from trying to pretend you are someone you are not. I know that you're skeptical that many men can find happiness by doing so, but I'll let the stories speak for themselves.

      With respect to being held back by my old life, a woman or the notion of being bi - there is some truth in what you're saying as it applies to me, but maybe not as much as you think. I knew I was gay at 13 and stopped beating myself up about it at 15. I had my first experience at 15 and, um, quite a few thereafter. The same night I came out to my wife as gay at 26 was also the same night I began a very positive relationship with a practically perfect 20yo guy. At the risk of being called self-delusional, I think these experiences (and others) demonstrate that denial and compartmentalization haven't been the big problems for me that they are for most guys.

    2. Hey Cameron, thanks for the opportunity to comment and I am trying to be patient - LOL...This topic has been very close to my heart of recent, between my own journey out & now trying to support two married friends that are just start their own journeys.

      Nick, Fort Wayne IN

  3. Well, I won't diagnose. I'm not qualified.

    It just seems like a statement that has a lot wrapped up in it - perhaps a lot more than Cameron realizes, but perhaps not. It's definitely a potential flag, but that's it - hence the recommendation. I explicitly didn't say more because I don't think it's appropriate to do so.

    (And yes, I'm not discussing the topic. I made my statement, nothing's changed, I'll wait for the next part. I just saw this and alarms went off (based on events in my own life, I admit, so possibly not relevant).)

    1. Austin - Your comments are usually very astute but this one has me puzzled. Maybe I'm so self-deceptive that I'm blind? - I literally don't understand what you mean. What, exactly, might be broken or self-deceptive?

      You can't offend me; I appreciate your honest opinions.

    2. So, relationships and psychoanalysis aren't "my thing"; I read a lot of psychology, but that's about it. So, I don't know that I can do more than describe my impression.

      The notion that a romantic relationship with a man is a fantasy is what I think is an issue: that it was something you state you wanted but, after failed attempts in a hostile situation (mostly closeted and married), decided you could never find have and thus gave up on. It's the "giving up" that sends up the red flags.

      It would seem to imply that the relationship you went back to with your wife wasn't really desired; it was simply what you thought was as good as it would get (and not in a positive sense). The old song of "if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with" comes to mind. That's "settling", and it almost never results in happiness. It can result in contentment, yes, but the two aren't the same.

      And there's nothing wrong with settling to be content - as long as you realize that's what you're doing (if that's what you did). That's why I'm trying to not say that you settled or that it's bad if you did: honestly, no one but you can make either call. But I wonder if you're in a mental space to actually make that determination (also not something I can't judge, but a legitimate question: many people talk themselves into settling without realizing that's what they're doing).

      I guess it's a case of hoping everything is above-board and that you're fully aware of all this but at the same time realizing that most people aren't when they make such statements. Hence the "talk to someone qualified" concept.

      Anyway, I hope that's clearer than it sounds in my head, but it's vague to me anyway. And I honestly don't mean any offense by it (nor do I have an agenda in making more gay men, which some might think :P I've had similar discussions with other friends IRL who were straight).

    3. Ah, settling.

      My history is somewhat atypical. It's all here in the blog so I get lazy about repeating it when it might be relevant.

      I was 26 when my marriage ended the first time. This same marriage, to be clear.

      OMG what a relief it was to come out of the closet and escape from the marriage and relationship I regretted!

      OMG what a thrill it was to have a boyfriend who I could hold hands with in public!

      And best of all: he was perfect. Good-looking, wicked smart, funny, charming, warm, sweet, kind, thoughtful, sexy, fun.

      With the old life and wife left behind, and a new boyfriend by my side, I was ready to live my life as I knew I should. But then...

      I decided I'd rather be with her.

      I made that decision all on my own and I never regretted it (much less felt like I settled) until she tossed me aside 19 years later.

      I had the perfect chance for love. There's not a single bad thing I could say about him. So when I said I gave up a fantasy, clearly my expectations were very high. Probably too high to be achievable.

      Am I above-board or self-delusional?

    4. Again, I don't know. I'm not a therapist. That's why I said you might want to talk to someone qualified. To me, could go either way. But you're you.

    5. ... I also want to point out that you've now presented two conflicting perspectives: that you looked and couldn't find what you wanted and so gave up (original), and that you found it but walked away anyway (most recent). The original, you say you gave up in 2003 - but here you're saying that you've been dedicated to her for 19 years (which would be in the 90's). So, that's even more reason (to me) why you should talk to someone qualified to help straighten out how you really feel about all of this.

    6. In the original I said I realized that I was chasing a fantasy and that I wasn't going to find what I wanted. Yes, that could be construed as giving up but I've never thought of it that way. Instead I've thought of it as being more informed and less naive. Either way, I'm not sure that it matters. If I was conflicted about these decisions (and yes there were two, first that I actually wanted to be with my wife (92), and second, that pursuing men for FWBs wasn't worth the effort(03)), then I would have had plenty of sleepless nights all these years, but I haven't. I've never once felt conflicted about them.

      But let's set that aside. If I was to accept your suggestion to see a professional, when they ask why I'm there, what would I say? I'm gay but I have yet to meet a man who touches me deeply? They'll ask if I've tried, and I'll explain how I have, then what? They'll say I haven't tried hard enough? Or, they'll tell me I'm straight?

      If you can suggest something that makes sense to me then I will do as you say.

    7. Okay, well, what you said was:
      "But what I most wanted, what we all want, is regular, hot sex with someone who makes us feel special - someone who touches our soul in the deepest, most meaningful ways." That's what you said was a fantasy. If you'd had that with your wife, I assume you wouldn't have gone looking for it somewhere else, but I could be wrong.

      As for a therapist - I think you misunderstand how therapy works :) They don't tell you what to think or feel, they simply help you figure out what you're thinking and feeling. The first question, though, would probably be, "what were you seeking with men that you didn't have with your wife?"

      I don't want to even pretend to get into a therapy session here - that's far too personal and, as I said, I'm not qualified. And by no means do you have to go if you don't want to. I simply saw a conflicted statement that still hasn't been squared away (you now have a third statement that, again, doesn't jive with your first - "someone who touches our soul" isn't a FWB) and made a suggestion.

      As for why go in the first place, it's sometimes nice to have someone who can act as a sounding board and help us figure things out. Kind of what you use the blog here for, but with more professional experience and direct interaction rather than passive or delayed. If you don't want that, don't sweat it and forget I mentioned it.

  4. I'm certainly not seeing the win-win here. How can you expect to find life altering love while cheating on your spouse or by just hooking up? True love requires a commitment of body and soul. I'm living proof that this can happen. But, I never cheated on my wife. I admitted to myself that I was sexually attracted to men, divorced my wife and then pursued with all of my heart and soul true love, and found it.

    The story above just sounds like regret. My story sounds like happiness.

    1. Bill, please accept my apologies for being a slow writer. Your points are good ones but I haven't gotten to them yet within the context of the "win-win". That'll happen in part two.

      You are correct that, so far, my story is much more one of regret than happiness - and yet I now have the same freedom you did when you left your wife. If I could exorcize my regrets I'd be much happier and that is one of the points of my story.

      The other point is that, I, like most bisexual men, thought I was a good husband. I certainly was as committed to my wife as I thought I could be. Much to my surprise, that turned out not to be good enough. Had I been forewarned I would have tried to address the problem and, maybe, I might be much happier now.

      Your story is wonderful. I'm glad you share it. But there are many self-identifying bisexual men out there who will never have the desire or the guts to do what you did. If those men do as I suggest, with honest determination, they will find happiness. I haven't provided the full explanation of how that can happen yet, but once I get part two published it should all make sense.

  5. Hum, this is getting very complicated. I like that, but it's hard on an old man's brain.

    I defended your previous post Two Lives, but can't bring myself to defend this one though I'm patiently awaiting the next post to complete your thought process. Knowing you I'd not bet against you tying it all together some way.

    I find myself agreeing with portions of what Austin and Nick are saying. In my humble opinion, Nick is still wrong in refusing to have the measure of caring and support that a gay man should have for others who know they are not gay but bi, yet he has a good and extremely important point that many men fail to recognize when he he says, "It's not all about sex."

    Austin is right on point when he says that you admit to settling and that was not a win-win situation for you (even if you have convinced yourself otherwise).

    Perhaps it is that being a gay married man is such a damn hard path to trod that gay married men cannot imagine a harder path; and so, they deny bisexuality exists. There is not doubt that being a married bisexual man is an overwhelmingly difficult situation. Society is finally coming to respect gays. Even gays, however, much less society at large, have any respect for bisexual men. How much worse could it be for us? Gay men have the option at least to leave their wives and find the man who fulfills them. Bi men more often than not love their wives and need her love in return as much as they need to find that man that completes their lives.

    When I first told my wife I was bisexual, she equated that more with homosexual than bisexual. Her biggest worry was that I was going to leave her for my buddy. It took me telling her over and over and over again that for the last 15 years of our happy married life in which we had often and enthusiastically had mind blowing and genuinely loving sex, I had also been having sex with my buddy and yet I'd been coming home to her every day all those years out of love for and need of her. It took me a long time to convince her that my buddy wasn't just about sex, that he was a very close friend with whom I happened to have a sexual relationship. A sexual relationship unlike the one I had with her. A sexual relationship not born of emotion and a real desire to spend my life with him as with her, but rather a sexual relationship born of a real need for a male friend who understood and wholly appreciated my maleness and with whom I could enjoy a sexual relationship born simply out of a sense of camaraderie and like mindedness. A sexual relationship which celebrated our maleness yet left our love for and need of our wives completely in tact and the bond of our marriage also in tact.

    I tired for decades to deny my bisexuality Two Lives. I didn't act on it during those decades. It gnawed at me unrelentingly. If you have successfully walked away from yours in what seems to you to be a win-win situation, then I question if you were ever bi in the first place. I would think it more likely just a fantasy born of curiosity. In all the hundreds of guys I talk to, I have seen that several times. I have also seen the married men who are gay yet call themselves bisexual simply because they are married and don't want to admit to being gay. These two types of men are the men that lead Nick and other gay men to the erroneous conclusion that bisexual men don't exist.

    Unfortunately that is like saying that because there are more black bears than panda bears, all bears are black bears.

    I look forward to your next post Two Lives. Nick and Austin and the others of you who have commented on this thread, thanks for the intellectual stimulation. Please, Please give some thought to the realization that bisexuality, while often misdiagnosed, does really exist. Otherwise how do you account for those of us which truly do swing both ways?

    Two Lives, perhaps you gave up too early. A truly good relationship is worth waiting for. I know from personal experience.

    Jack Scott

    1. Thanks for your excellent comment Jack.

      Two things you said about "settling" confused me:

      "Austin is right on point when he says that you admit to settling and that was not a win-win situation for you (even if you have convinced yourself otherwise).

      "perhaps you gave up too early. A truly good relationship is worth waiting for."

      First of all, I stopped feeling like I settled when I chose to reunite with my wife in '92. I could easily have stayed with Jim if that's what I wanted. The only regret I have from that whole situation is that Jim was so great and didn't deserve to be dumped.

      Second, I didn't mean to imply that my clear-headed decision to spend my life with a woman itself was a win-win. It certainly COULD have been if I hadn't taken her for granted.

      Third, regardless of whether I "gave up", here I am again, beating my head against the cement, trying to be positive about dating men. Have I lost all hope? No. Am I somewhat jaded and skeptical? Yes. There aren't many people who get through life unscathed and I'm certainly not one of them.

      I will say that every time I send a message to a new guy (which he will inevitably ignore), I am hopeful. Similarly, when I meet a guy for the first time (that would be when a guy messages me first), I am equally hopeful. Right now I'm only jaded and skeptical. Given enough time I might become negative, bitter and self-defeating but I'm not there yet. What am I supposed to do? Oh yes..."keep hope alive!"

  6. I too, am certainly enjoying the level of conversation about this very specific subject. Jack, you are right to chide me on my dis-belief around bi-sexuality (obviously my own experiences way heavily in how I view the world), but please don't miss-understand my acceptance or openness to care for & accept a bi-sexual person. I by no means will judge another.

    But, here we go again with labels conversation, I personally hate them as I think we all often do, but I also know they serve a powerful purpose for all of us (including ourselves). Without them, how do we define and rationalize our own thoughts and then communicate them to others.

    Bi-sexuality, should mean that a person freely acknowledges attractions & love for both sex's (& remember love/attraction is more than sex), therefore during the dating games, a bi-sexual person would be drawn to either sex (one more than the other or equally, doesn't matter). However, ultimately they should fall in love with one person (male or female) & then if the mutual expectation is set, they enter a monogamous relationship. They stay in love with the partner they've picked. But, just as with any monogamous relationship, Straight men stray (& women) on their partners & cheat with people of the opposite sex, and of course bi-sexual people, stray & cheat, however its with the same sex!!...Straight people get caught, most of the time divorce ensues (unless reconciliation occurs), Bi people get caught - they continually struggle with either wanting the best of both worlds (straight family & gay buddy) or they leave & don't enter another straight relationship.

    All to often the bi label gets used as a easy way for a person to have their cake & eat it too and because the one thing that nobody else can ever do, is read another's mind, (in reality we can barely handle our own minds at the best of times), it is so easy to lie to ourselves, let alone anyone else. Therefore, bringing clarity to differing opinions in this conversation is very very difficult.

    If couples are openly honest about bi-sexuality with each other, as in the need for one of the partners to seek a polymorphous relationship, & everyone can handle the emotional dynamics, then that is how I would rewrite Cameron's "Win-Win" scenario (I also assume these will be few & very far between effective relationships, as they are fraught with emotional dangers)

    I'm best friends with my ex-wife these days & see her at least every other day, and even with that close of a relationship there are still times I miss the aspects of an intimate relationship with her (I'm not talking about sex either).. We were great at cuddling, a shoulder to shoulder contact moment, an across the room glance, I truly do love her. BUT none of that makes me str8 or bi, I'm gay - because I can't be the passionate/intimate/"lover" of her that I can with a guy.

    Again, thanks for the opportunity to discuss this. I just know that we are on a brink of an explosion of mix-orientation marriages coming out of the closet & everything we've pontificated about with the "win-win", gives little clarity to those facing this dilemma today.

    Nick, Fort Wayne, IN

    1. Nick, I'm very glad to hear you say you do in fact accept bisexuality as a reality. I know it's hard to understand just as homosexuality is difficult for heterosexual guys to understand; but those of us who are truly living breathing bisexual guys are around. True many of us are and will remain in closets of various sizes, but that is kind of part and parcel for the married bisexual man.

      I have to tell you that I really liked your comments about labels. Everyone complains about labels, but you are the only guy I've ever heard make a truly rational statement about them other than myself.

      It would be an awesome thing if we lived in a world where everyone was accepted for what they are, but we don't and so labels are going to be applied. As you suggest they define us and they help us to think rationally and effectively.

      The way I see it, labels are really only a problem when someone tries to stick a label on someone else (as in someone saying, you're not really bisexual, your gay). Sticking labels on someone else is usually a problem for those on both sides of whatever issue is being labeled. Its a problem for the person doing the labeling because he or she is diminishing the personhood of the person they are trying to label. Its a problem for the person being labeled because it can make him feel as if he's nothing more than a label in the mind of others.

      That said, I maintain (rightly I'm pretty sure) that labeling ourselves correctly is absolutely necessary to living life abundantly and effectively. Gay men are absolutely right when they say that men often call themselves bisexual when in fact they are homosexual. That is a problem, a big problem for the guy who has mislabeled himself because living life well as a homosexual man and living life well as a bisexual man require very different approaches. While many people have never stopped to consider it, there is as much difference between being homosexual and being bisexual as there is between being homosexual and being heterosexual.

      Thats a lot of labels, but as long as we correctly apply appropriate labels to ourselves, we are enabling ourselves to come to terms with who we are and how we need to live our lives.

      End of Comment Part One. Part Two Follows

      Jack Scott

    2. Comment Part Two:

      I like the third paragraph of you comment above. It's a simplistic start to understanding bisexuality, but only a start. The possibility of a bisexual person falling in love with a same sex partner as his primary relationship and then seeking the opposite sex individual as his secondary partner is theoretically possible. I've never come across such a person, but there probably are such persons. Usually though I think bisexual people tend to establish their primary relationships with the opposite sex and establish their secondary relationships with a same sex partner. Either way, as you suggest either of the relationships can end or continue long term for the same reasons that straight relationships end or continue for the long term.

      I don't follow your paragraph by "applying the bisexual label to have one's cake and eat it too." But to the extent that I think I follow what you mean to say, I don't agree. I've never met a person in all the hundreds of bisexual people I've talked to who has labeled himself bisexual so he can increase his chances of having sex on any given night. It's true that bisexual people double their chances for sex because they are willing to have it with either males or females, but they are willing to have sex with either males or females because the are bisexual. They do not label themselves bisexual so they can have sex with either sex.

      Your 5th paragraph is absolutely right in my opinion. The only real win-win situation a bisexual can aspire to is to be lucky enough, as I have been, to be able to tell his wife, find that she can accept him and his bisexuality and in addition find that she is willing to share him sexually with another man while maintaining her own sexual relationship and loving partnership with him. As you suggest such relationships are very few and far between, but when they happen they are very effective relationships in allowing the bisexual partner to truly meet his needs. I consider myself truly blessed to be in such a relationship with my wife. The only fly in the ointment is that I have a degree of nagging guilt about putting her, no matter how willing she is to accept it, into this kind of situation. At some level I know that it hurts her to some degree no matter how accepting she is of my bisexuality.

      Your last paragraph is very interesting. Do you mean that or were you being facetious? I ask because I actually believe that most men are biologically bisexual. It is the unrelenting pressure of society and religion which have masked this true biological state to the point that most men do not recognize their bisexuality. Some that do recognize their bisexuality are scared shitless when they glimpse it and over compensate for it becoming homophobes in the process.

      There was a time in advanced societies when bisexuality was openly the norm. The ancient Greek and Roman cultures are two examples. But I see no signs that society is going to allow a return to this natural state anytime soon. I hope I'm wrong. Restoring the natural order to men would be a wonderful thing.

      Jack Scott

  7. I wanted to write and take issue with Austin and Nick on this. I confess their thoughts leave me unsettled by what I am sure are well intentioned but still, none the less ill informed comments. When I read their comments I read the comments of GAY men that are (or were) married to women not the comments of true bisexuals.

    I fully appreciate that most people do not understand bisexuality. I find articulating it most challenging myself. But concerning to me are the well intentioned comments that without realizing it, still cement negative stereotypes.

    I wish somehow I could somehow express to gay men that I don’t “identify” as bisexual…. I am bisexual. Identifying is so much different than being. One simply is a label the other is an “am.” Many men “identified” as straight for much of their life but it did not change the reality of who they are. I am trying to imagine telling a gay man that he only “identifies” as gay?

    I wish that I could explain that there are many of us that are not just “functionally bi” but rather that is who we are. I wish that those gay men that did “identify” as bisexual but now realize that they are gay, could see that THEY are in fact those that cement the stereotypes of bisexuality… not the true bisexuals themselves. Instead of realizing and acknowledging that they have in fact borrowed another’s persona, they tend to instead perpetuate the myths that bisexuality is only a transitional stage. They acted straight… they were not. They acted bisexual and they were equally just as not. They used the cloak of bisexuality as they used the cloak of heterosexuality.

    1. Hey Rob, very good comments..perhaps you could expand on how you live your life as a bisexual male..what relationships & struggles they cause you & how you deal with this, I ask to know more about the struggle of understanding bisexuality..obviously for years I did hijack the label if bi...over admitting I'm gay...having said that I do have a GF that I'm very emotionally close to & we've contemplated sex as well....but this does not make me Bi in my mind, and while l care for her a lot & could easily make sex work & enjoy it together....I would still rather take a similar relationship with a man

    2. Rob - for the record, I've never even kissed a girl much less dated or married one; so, no, I'm not a bisexual, nor have I ever pretended to be one nor identified as one.

      The quote Cameron used was pulled out of a long comment that included the fact that there are a small percentage of people who are legitimately bisexual but that the majority who identify as such likely aren't. I even finished with: "I know you say your solution isn't for everyone, but I'd probably argue that it's for a very small percentage who are legitimately bisexual and actively sexually attracted to their partners."

      So, while I understand your concern and point (and certainly how the partial quote could be misinterpreted), you're preaching to the choir, at least from my perspective :)

      (That being said, you do identify as bisexual. You just did, by saying you were. That's all the term means: naming one's self as something. It doesn't mean you're wrong about it, nor that you're right. It just means you state you are "x". I don't use the term to be dismissive; I mean it literally. If someone tells me they're an alien, I can't easily confirm it; ergo, referring to them as "john, an alien" may not be accurate, but saying "john, who identifies as an alien" is wholly accurate. It's probably the analyst in me, but I try to be precise in my ambiguities.)

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. P.S. - I am "Nick" - in "being" & unique beyond any one label. However I identify (or am identified by others) to the labels of; I'm white, I'm a skier, I'm a Dad, I'm an American, I'm Gay, etc. etc.

      Rob - Please take this whole group of conversations (Cameron's, Austin's & mine in the entirety - please don't pick at specific wording & translate it to an alternate conversation). This was about Win-Win for married guys & not labels.

    5. Rob, I like your comment very much. It has caused me to think of something I've have never thought of before.

      These are just my thoughts spurred by your thoughts and I don't mean in disrespect to your thoughts by trying to expand on them. Just adding to the discussion.

      As I see it, perhaps in truth you both identify as a bisexual man and in fact are a bisexual man.

      You are absolutely right that a man can identify as a bisexual man without being one. However, one can not be a bisexual man with out being one, so you are right when you say that being is so much more than just identifying as.

      I make the point because Austin is right in his comment, you do and just have identified yourself as a bisexual man. Austin and I take your word for that, but we cannot see you "state of being a bisexual man from your comment." The only way to see that "state of being" would be to know you and to observe or take part in your private sexual life.

      Another way of saying what Austin and I are saying to you is: My wife knows I identify as a bisexual man because I have identified myself to her as such. However she does not really know the "me that is bisexual" because she has never observed my bisexual behavior. She has only observed my heterosexual behavior.

      Your point (and mine) may seem tortured to some, but the point is really not tortured,it is merely precise. There is a difference in a man being able to function as a bisexual man and in a man actually "being" a bisexual man.

      The point is precisely important because some people choose to use the fact that many men can function and identify as bisexual men when they really "are" in their "being" homosexual men to deny that bisexuality really exists at all as a "state of being."

      Very good point Rob. Thanks for making it, and thanks to you Austin for helping me think through Rob's point. It took the both of you for me to see it clearly.

      That is what I love so much about honest open discussion.

      Oh, and Cameron, thank you for starting this topic that has spiraled off into so many great comments. The pressure's on though. We haven't forgotten that we're just all chatting here awaiting your next post .

      Jack Scott

  8. Actually Nick I have found your above comments much more interesting than any? In your above comments you go to great extents to comment on how a bisexual "should" think and live (and throw in a unnecessary piece on "cake and eat it too.)

    Yet you go on to speak of your “girlfriend” (I’ll assume this is more than a female friend by use of your language) who you have considered being intimate with, but how this does not make you bi in your mind?

    Though I agree that where one places their bits is not the sole decider of one’s orientation and certainly does not explain sexuality, the fact remains that a truly gay man could not even consider the option of sex with a woman. Strangely I find your comments a little akin to the “straight” man that says, “just because I have sex with a man, that doesn’t make me gay!”

  9. OK, First - Sorry to Cameron - I feel we have hijacked this post. Rob - just lively debate, a ton of my opinion mixed in with a fair amount of life experiences to back all this up these days.

    I self identify as Gay, I'm tremendously fortunate to have experienced a long happy marriage with good sex (to a woman), but slowly started to come to terms with needing more than that to fulfill deeper/suppressed desires (that I initially thought where just sexual in need, but found out that its all about inner/love/intimate/connection with a man that is at the bottom of my soul.) I've written about this on Jayson Streets blog - you can check it out there, save repeating.

    What I'm interested in knowing is personal accounts, I hate really talking labels & in the third person. Please tell us about you, what it is that you do & feel that makes you "be" Bi-sexual, how do you get to live your life as a bi-sexual, rather than just identifying with a label of "Bi".

    (p.s. some of my most out 30+ year gay men can still consider & have even acted on sex with a woman, while it was described a "fun time" ie. as they "got off" - it was not something that trumped being with a guy).

    I think you & I are arguing from differing personal needs regarding these labels (specifically because I'm unclear on your own story). I'm here/responding to Cameron on the "Win-Win", therefore everything I discuss goes back to that focus only. I'm talking about Married Men that have sex on the side only with guys & then use the term "Bi" to themselves and then subsequently to their spouses. This use of "Bi" historically gives false hope to the spouses (& even the guy) that once "outted" life can be returned to the happy family (with inner peace for both parties).

    In open & honest relationship either, both parties should accept and handle the bi-sexuality of a partner allowing some polymorphous union or alternately drop the "bi" label, stay monogamous and be labeled as straight, because you've fallen in love & chosen to be intimate with someone of the opposite sex. "Cameron has been honest with his spouse and it does not appear the Win-Win option is available to him either".

    Any other discussion about bi-sexuality is for another forum (& I'm unqualified to offer opinions).

    Thanks for a lively debate

    Nick, Fort Wayne IN

    1. Don't worry about Cameron Nick. As a blogger myself I can tell you with a degree of certainty that Cameron is enjoying the heck out of all of us hijacking his blog and carrying on a discussion he started.

      I'm been blogging for 3 years at and I get my share of comments and kudos, but I have never had a thread take hold in the comment section of my blog like this one has in Cameron's blog though I can tell you I would be utterly ecstatic if it ever did.

      To spur this kind of participation, discussion and comment is every bloggers dream. Cameron is, more than likely having a ball with all this. And if I know Cameron he's delaying his next post just to give the comments now taking place a chance to run their course. One should never interfere with success and Cameron knows that.

      Jack Scott

    2. But Nick the issue of bisexuality and its relevence is fundamentally important to this discussion. The topic is labled as a Win Win For BISEXUAL Married Men... yet we have GAY men coming on here and saying it is bullshit??

      I would have NO problem with formerly married GAY men saying that this may not work for GAY men but I do take issue with GAY men declaring that it could not work for BISEXUAL Married Men.

  10. Also need to point out to Austin that your numbers are way off. Latest stats indicate that there are way more truly bisexual individuals than there are exclusively gay individuals and that in fact a notable percentage of those that claim to be Gay are in actuality bisexual.

    The reality remains that bisexuality is still largely invisible and that due to its inacceptance by both the hetero and homosexual communities it will remain that way for a while to come.


    A recent study by Dr. Ron Fox an Amsterdam based psychologist,of more than 900 bisexual individuals found that one out of every three had previously identified themselves as lesbian or gay. ("Current Research on Bisexuality", Ron Fox, 2004)

    Based on research done by Kinsey, as many as 15-25% of women and 33-46% of men may be bisexual, based on their activities or attractions.

    1. Rob, without knowing your story/journey/relationship to these comments, you make it hard to validate your opinion on these matters.

      Also, regarding the the bisexuality vs gay aspect of these articles of "Win-Win", you wish for them to be taken in the context of bisexually identifying men, yet the whole theoretical construct is created here by a self identifying GAY man in Cameron.

      Finally, the use of speculative statistics on bisexuality is so up for discussion on validity (but in the absence of other more accurate data, its worth discussing) and must be severely weighted by the aspects that we've all discussed that naturally skew the reliability of these numbers.