Should I let my fiance know about my bisexuality?
August 20, 2011 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Should I let my fiance know about my bisexuality?

I guess I'm a little bit of this guy here, but not so clear-cut. I've always been sexually attracted to both men and women. However, 90% of my sexual fantasies involve women. But I've never really connected with women on an emotional level , so I've never been in a relationship with a woman, though I've fooled around.

I've never told my fiance about this. A long time ago bisexuality came up and he said something like "I couldn't be with a bisexual women because I would worry I wasn't satisfying all of their sexuality." I haven't mentioned it again, though admittedly I feel guilty when I'm masturbating and thinking of women. I worry I am not being true to him and that if he found out he would think of me differently.

Should I tell him?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (64 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, tell him. Even though you say you're far more attracted to men then women, as he said, he'd always wonder. And you apparently have nagging little doubtful thoughts too, all of which is warning lights for any marraige.
posted by easily confused at 6:06 PM on August 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yes. Just yes. It's not fair to either of you to hide it.
posted by supercres at 6:06 PM on August 20, 2011 [6 favorites]

If you love him and plan on having a monogamous relationship with him, I would not tell him. I would like to think that almost everyone fantasizes about people other than their SO and you just happen to fantasize about women not men.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:07 PM on August 20, 2011 [4 favorites]

Yes, you should tell him. And then you should talk to him about his ridiculous notions about bisexual women.
posted by lydhre at 6:07 PM on August 20, 2011 [16 favorites]

I think you shouldn't marry him if you can't tell him.

My husband is an Egyptian Muslim man (although totally not religious) and I am from NYC. I had no problems telling him I had dated Male to Female Transexuals in the past. Some seriously.

This is not a big deal. But you should be comfortable talking about stuff that you were attracted to or experimented with. YO!
posted by jbenben at 6:07 PM on August 20, 2011 [5 favorites]

Since you're engaged, you've decided which you'd like "till death do you part" and committed to him. If you're only going to tell him to ease your conscience about who you fantasize about while you masturbate, don't do it, especially if you know it would cause him worry.

Just because you're getting married doesn't mean you have to tell your partner EVERYTHING about your past. Some things are better left in the past.
posted by NoraCharles at 6:08 PM on August 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

posted by PinkMoose at 6:10 PM on August 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Upon preview: DO NOT tell him if these are just fantasies and not serious dating history. Nothing to be gained here. It's probably not any of his business if this is just fantasies.

Know what I mean?

Your masturbation fantasies may remain private, even in the best of relationships. That's OK.
posted by jbenben at 6:10 PM on August 20, 2011 [4 favorites]

90% of my sexual fantasies involve women.

You should not marry him unless he's okay with this fact. It would suck for both of you. He can't be okay with it unless he knows, and knows what it would mean, practically: some fooling around on the side? lesbian porn?

Marriage = all the cards on the table.
posted by supercres at 6:11 PM on August 20, 2011 [8 favorites]

I do not do people get engaged without having these conversations? All the conversations? All of them? You're thinking of getting married to a man when 90% of of fantasies involve women? Are you a sadist AND a masochist?

And yes, you tell everything. All the things.
posted by TomMelee at 6:19 PM on August 20, 2011 [45 favorites]

It's a bad idea to hide such a basic fact about yourself from someone you are going to marry. He should be on board with all of you if it's going to work.
posted by inturnaround at 6:19 PM on August 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Yes, please tell him. You need him to accept all aspects of you. It wouldn't be fair to either of you in the future if you don't.
posted by Yellow at 6:21 PM on August 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

I kind of think whether you tell him or not, or whether it really makes a difference or not, is if his fear that he's not able to satisfy you completely is valid or not. In other words is there anything he will have to do or not do now, like let you go off and sleep with women or participate in 3 ways. If it's just a fantasy that helps you get off, that you have no intention of ever wanting to act out, and there's nothing he can or should do regarding it, then I say don't bring it up. But that's something you have to think about.

Another way of thinking about it is that vaginas are sexy. They help you think sexy thoughts to get off. In popular culture the presence of a female character usually means sex is going to happen so it seems pretty obvious to associate ladies and lady parts with sexy thoughts. It doesn't have to mean you want to play with someone else's.
posted by bleep at 6:24 PM on August 20, 2011 [4 favorites]

To add, I'm not sure the fact that your fantasies revolve around women is something you should feel the need to disclose. Fantasies are fantasies, they're not necessarily hidden time-bombs that will blow up your marriage. Fantasies don't mean you're going to cheat. Fantasies don't mean you need to be with a woman rather than with your fiance. Fantasies mean that X, Y, or Z get you off.

Your bisexuality though is another matter. It's who you are. Are you sure you want to marry a man you can't even disclose your sexual orientation to?
posted by lydhre at 6:27 PM on August 20, 2011 [4 favorites]

You say you've never been in a relationship with a woman but you've "fooled around." I think you should tell him anyway, but consider the possibility that he might find out through another source.

I think that his statement that he could never be with a bisexual woman was a glib remark and not a carefully considered concrete decision. Especially if he's never knowingly dated or been close to someone who was bisexual.
posted by bunderful at 6:33 PM on August 20, 2011

I don't think you should tell him, if you want to marry him and have a monogamous relationship. I see no upside.

But if 90% of your fantasy life revolves around women I think you should give extra thought to marrying a man.
posted by pseudonick at 6:48 PM on August 20, 2011 [3 favorites]

I strongly support jbenben's take and do not think you need to share your sexual fantasies with your partner, unless you think it may affect your relationship in the future.

See also, Straight chicks digging lesbian erotica and maybe show him that thread if you do decide to tell him.
posted by the fish at 6:56 PM on August 20, 2011

Everyone saying "no" is, in a way, correct. If your goal is staying with your fiancé no matter what, you shouldn't tell him. If you want to live an open, fulfilled life, possibly with your current fiancé, then yes, you should tell him
posted by supercres at 6:57 PM on August 20, 2011 [10 favorites]

I guess it depends on what you expect to get out of it and whether you feel it's important enough.

Fantasies are really just that - fantasies. You've said you don't emotionally connect with women so the chances of you having a relationship with one are low. If you tell him he may feel inadequate. He may think that you'll leave him for a woman, particularly if you tell him how much you fantasize about women.

However, do you identify strongly with being bisexual? Is this who you are? Could you imagine spending the rest of your life hiding that facet of who you are? How important are your feelings in your own life?
posted by mleigh at 6:58 PM on August 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

TomMelee: "I do not do people get engaged without having these conversations? All the conversations? All of them? You're thinking of getting married to a man when 90% of of fantasies involve women? Are you a sadist AND a masochist?"

Or maybe just really scared?

OP, I think you should tell him. The conversation will illuminate some important things about trust in your relationship. He needs to trust that you are fully committed to him (despite his weird ideas about bisexuality), and you need to know if he can be trusted with your truths, however painful they might be (to him).
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:02 PM on August 20, 2011

If 90% of your fantasies are about women I don't think you are "bisexual", I think you are pretty damn close to being a very frustrated lesbian. Just because you haven't met the right woman yet doesn't mean the emotional component can't happen. If you marry this man without discussing this first, you will eventually feel trapped and resentful. If he can't accept you for who you are, then this marriage isn't going to be good for either of you.

If, however, these fantasies are just fantasies (which I don't think they are or you wouldn't be asking this question) and you are certain you can live the rest of your life without ever actually indulging in a same-sex relationship, then keep it to yourself.
posted by evilcupcakes at 7:07 PM on August 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

I agree with the recommendations that you tell your fiance. You say that he told you that he could "never be with a bisexual" - but doesn't this bit of information condemn part of who you are? I once dated an atheist man who had an axe to grind with agnostics: I am agnostic, and it became such a large point of contention that it helped drive a wedge between us. And we were just dating; you guys are getting married. That's a great big window within which your fiance could privately seethe about not being able to "satisfy your sexuality."

But people often change their views with more information - and personal anecdotes - so you need to tell him. If he recoils, break off your engagement (although I know how hard that will be). If he shrugs, savor your wedding cake even more when the big day arrives.
posted by Ashen at 7:18 PM on August 20, 2011

Everyone saying "no" is, in a way, correct. If your goal is staying with your fiancé no matter what, you shouldn't tell him. If you want to live an open, fulfilled life, possibly with your current fiancé, then yes, you should tell him

Really good answer. In a way, I think you should probably tell your guy about this for your own sake. It's a case of "speak now or forever hold your peace". Do you really want to spend the rest of your lives together keeping this secret, which is not just any secret but a basic, central fact about your real nature, which you can never divulge for fear of what he'll do and/or because he might react very negatively to not having been told before you got married?

So my vote is "tell him". Get this out in the open now so you can both deal with it. Because if the two of you can't deal with it, it's better you find that out now than ten or fifteen years down the road, especially if by then you have a couple of small children.
posted by orange swan at 7:22 PM on August 20, 2011 [5 favorites]

Hi there! I'm supercres's wife. I told him I was bisexual pretty early in the relationship, we're pretty sure. I say "pretty sure" because neither of us remembers exactly when I told him or how it went down, but it wasn't a milestone. Why? Because being bisexual =/= having sexual relationships with both sexes for the rest of my life. It means that I am attracted to men AND women, and that I will fall in love and partner up with whomever is the best match for me regardless of sex. If your future husband has a problem with this, maybe you shouldn't marry him. Not only because he doesn't understand bisexuality, but maybe even thinks that it's wrong. But that's just, like, my opinion, man.

Metafilter, you disappoint me again. I don't think anyone here should be telling you what your sexuality is. I have my own private percentage of fantasies focused on women, which has nothing to do with how much I want to be with my husband. We are both OK with this. There's a chance that, even if a women isn't bisexual, she may someday have a fantasy or two about women. You should do what feels right for you, whatever that may be.
posted by two lights above the sea at 7:31 PM on August 20, 2011 [29 favorites]

what two lights above the sea said.
posted by madcaptenor at 7:38 PM on August 20, 2011

Why tell him? Discussing your bisexuality will just open a can of worms... unless you cannot stay monogamous, or unless you think sex life with your husband will not be sexually satisfying.

However, it seems like you plan on being monogamous, so there is really little point in telling your husband.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:50 PM on August 20, 2011

How is this even a question? It would be monstrously unfair to both of you to proceed into a marriage with this very central fact about you kept secret. For both of your sakes, please tell him.
posted by EatTheWeek at 8:01 PM on August 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

As a bisexual woman monogamously married to a man, good lord, yes, tell him. If you're going to be together the rest of your lives, either he'll find out or you'll burn untold stress trying to keep it a secret. It's not worth it. Don't marry someone you have to keep secrets from.
posted by KathrynT at 8:22 PM on August 20, 2011 [3 favorites]

Don't hide it just because you're going to be monogamous. I totally disagree with that advice.

If you were Christian and marrying an atheist who expressed dislike towards religion once in the time you knew him, would you still tell yourself it's alright to let him think you're an atheist just because you don't go to church and do all your praying in your head?

Like some others... I cannot even fathom getting that far without revealing everything about our sex lives to each other. Sex is so wrapped up with guilt and shame in our culture already - don't start your marriage that way too.
posted by subject_verb_remainder at 8:25 PM on August 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

It is profoundly unfair to your future husband that he enter into a marriage with someone who may be entering it under false pretenses -- and by that I specifically mean you are not being honest with him about what turns you on.

If, in say 5 years if/when the "90% fantasies" becomes "90% real life" and this leads to you breaking up the marriage, you know, he might have been spared a lot of pain.
posted by rr at 8:34 PM on August 20, 2011

> Don't marry someone you have to keep secrets from.

This! Marriage doesn't mean you have to share every single thought with each other, but this seems like a rather important one to share. And if this is who you really are, by not sharing this early you are setting yourself up for a terrible outcome later, either in the eventual betrayal he feels when you do tell him (or he finds out), or in the stress you'll carry keeping this part of you hidden and suppressed. Talk with him and have this discussion now! As people, we can change some things about ourselves, but other things are hard wired. If you are going to spend the rest of your lives together "happily ever after," he deserves to know this about you upfront, and you deserve to know his true reaction to this fact upfront.

Good luck to you both, and be strong.
posted by mosk at 8:35 PM on August 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm a bisexual woman in a monogamous relationship with a man. My sexuality is a core part of my identity, so I can only answer you from that perspective. To me, what you're asking sounds like, 'should I marry someone who doesn't know me at all, and may not accept me as I am?'

Of course the answer is no, because it's not fair to either of you.

Being bisexual doesn't automatically mean you can't be faithful. Basing your decision to tell him on whether or not you think you'll stay monogamous is missing the larger point. The point is he deserves to know who he is marrying, and you deserve to be loved for who you are.
posted by Space Kitty at 8:49 PM on August 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

To channel Dan Savage: his reaction is going to hinge one how you present this. If you say it with the "I have cancer" tone, yeah, he's going to treat it as a big life- or relationship-threatening THING. If you treat it like what it is, a possibly-fun and heretofore-unknown bonus*, then I'm guessing he's likely to be more okay with this.

* And no, I'm not suggesting that all bisexuals are into or okay with threesomes. But I'm guessing that if you let him into your girl-girl fantasies, even just in the time you two are together, and even just a little bit, his reaction is more likely to veer into "fun bonus" territory.
posted by supercres at 8:58 PM on August 20, 2011 [3 favorites]

He probably would feel differently about you, but you really don't need to make it a big deal. It's so common now for women to be bi and date guys. Even if he's said something about being worried about dating a bisexual it doesn't necessarily mean he's thought it through all that thoroughly.
posted by empath at 9:04 PM on August 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think it is seriously problematic that he told you point-blank that he "could not be with" a bisexual woman and you, a bisexual woman, just carried on. His biphobia is his own bigoted hangup, but if this is an issue for him it needs to be addressed. You also deserve to be with someone who respects your sexuality.
posted by threeants at 9:23 PM on August 20, 2011 [5 favorites]

Another bisexual woman married to a man here.

Tell him. You deserve to be loved fully for the whole, wonderful, queer person that you are. You deserve to not carry secrets for the whole of your adult life and hide them from your lover and partner. You deserve a life of safety and comfort and truth.

Tell him.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:29 PM on August 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

I've always been sexually attracted to both men and women. However, 90% of my sexual fantasies involve women.

I agree that nobody should define your sexuality for you, but I suggest you pay more attention to this.

I worry I am not being true to him and that if he found out he would think of me differently.

I'm worried that you're not being true to yourself.
posted by Wordwoman at 9:35 PM on August 20, 2011

Hey: devil's advocate here, and while acnowleding all the good advice from the bisexual women married to men in this thread whose strong and stable and understanding partnerships I find very plausible and encouraging... and whose happiness in this understanding I would defend with everything I could muster...

90% ?? That's nominally "bisexual", but that seems, well, like an imporant enough part of your identity to cough up to your beau. It just seems important, is all..

(I mean to say "duh... tell him, dummy. How could you not?")

(Also: It might be the case that you're a lesbian. If you have internal conflicts that make conceptualizing that as a possibility difficult, I think it best that you wrestle with that. It will save you some heartache. If you don't, kindly disregard with my sincere apologies.)
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 9:48 PM on August 20, 2011

Yet another bisexual woman here. I made sure to tell my now-husband that little factoid on our first date. I wanted to make sure he knew what he was getting into. I mean, it's not like my brain wiring is somehow negotiable. Luckily, he didn't have a problem with it. Now we're an old married couple, and we sit around watching "Mad Men" together and we talk about our thoughts on Christina Hendricks' awesome...acting skills.

But seriously, I can't fathom that you are actually about to marry someone without having been honest with them about such an important part of your identity.
posted by Asparagirl at 10:40 PM on August 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Assuming we're talking about fantasies that you don't plan to act on, you can talk about it, but do not volunteer it. Honestly, there's nothing to be gained by sharing that information. Do you plan to have a long term monogamous relationship with him? If yes, your disclosure will only serve to confuse. If you DON'T plan to have a long term monogamous relationship with him, then your disclosure is irrelevant. Why bother?
posted by falameufilho at 10:58 PM on August 20, 2011

Honestly, there's nothing to be gained by sharing that information.

Sure there is. My husband and I discovered, for example, that we share a type. We are super-duper-pooper-scooper monogamous, but it is awesome to see a pretty lady on the street or on TV or whatever, look at each other, and go "Whuff."

You might think that's minor; it's not. The OP, if she keeps this secret, will have to keep every "whuff" to herself, FOREVER. She'll have to police herself every time that one video comes on the TV to make sure she's not looking too hard or too long, but not conspicuously avoiding, either. Or, you know, whatever is relevant to her life. Attraction is a big, subtle part of your everyday life, and keeping it under wraps is exhausting.
posted by KathrynT at 12:11 AM on August 21, 2011 [6 favorites]

I'm a bisexual woman in a long term monogamous relationship with a man... I'm honestly gobsmacked by people trying to tell you you're really a lesbian. Most of my fantasies are about women too, I don't need to fantasize about men, I've got a real one. My needs are taken care of in that department. There's nothing unusual about fantasizing about the things we don't have significantly more often than what we do have.

I don't think you need to feel guilty for fantasies, I'm sure he fantasizes about other women too. IMO the gender of your 'imaginary companions' is irrelevant.

We cant tell you whether or not to tell him but you should consider risk vs reward. I don't consider my sexuality (or gender fwiw) to be a core part of my identity, its no more 'who' I am than my eye colour or height. My boyfriend knows but 'hiding', if I felt it was necessary, wouldn't have been even remotely difficult for me. Only you can know how difficult it would be for you (and has been already). It does sound like this could be a *huge*, potentially relationship breaking issue for him - and that's the risk you're taking by telling him. IMO, if its already been a hardship for you keeping this 'secret' then you absolutely should tell him and deal with the consequences. If its not really bothering you (other than the guilt of fantasizing about women) then I wouldn't risk a relationship that is in every other way good enough to commit to.
posted by missmagenta at 1:17 AM on August 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

(I'll open this with the caveat that it is, for what it's worth, the perspective of a nearly-forty ten year's married guy). I don't think you need to share this at all, and whether you do or not this may not be the best time for it.

My basic perspective is that most of us are somewhat bisexual, being complex beings that simplistic binary (or quaternary or whatever degree) labels can't really do justice to. That being said, the majority tend towards a fairly specific orientation in actual relationships, and it is this that matters most - in actual relationships.

To have a fantasy life that diverges from what works in your actual relationships seems totally normal to me and entirely healthy and natural. For this imaginary life to be personal and private - something reserved for your solo sex life, basically - seems to me a perfectly reasonable, ordinary and often beneficial aspect of one's whole sexuality. I gotta say while I don't discount at all the examples raised by many of opening up the personal fantasy world into the broader relationship being beneficial, I have to balk at the idea that it is a necessity. We have a right to a private fantasy world. I don't think it's a bad thing for one's entire sexuality to not be subsumed in the primary relationship.

The engagement is a tricky time. It's the end all be all while you're in it but if your thing works it will end up being a small period in a much bigger story. It's natural, hell it's pretty much canonical, for all sorts of questions and doubts to rear up in this period: you're on the precipice of locking in a big decision. It may not be a great time for injecting considerations that are simultaneously fraught with emotional reaction and yet unlikely to have any real bearing on your relationship. There's nothing dishonest about entering forthrightly into a loving relationship with the intention of getting yourself off, when you are so inclined, in whatever lovely fantasy world does the trick - without shame or guilt. A fulfilling personal fantasy world and solo sex life, the gates to which are at your absolute discretion, is an absolute personal right for everyone in my book.
posted by nanojath at 1:17 AM on August 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Can we look at this from the other side a little?

I haven't mentioned it again, though admittedly I feel guilty when I'm masturbating and thinking of women.

I'm concerned about your ability to have difficult conversations with your fiance. Whether it's "him" (like, he reacts badly to tricky topics, or shuts down, or is very "set in his ways" (ie, unwilling to see others' point of view)) or "you" (you're shy, conflict-averse), there's something that seems a bit path-of-least-resistance in terms of communication here. Have you two had other potentially hard talks before? Is this particular conversation one you've had with other people before? Or is this a particular zone that feels so private and personal that you're not really comfortable bringing it up with anyone?

So I don't think this is so much a question of what's the "right" thing to do (though, for what it's worth, I'd say if you're FEELING GUILTY WHILE MASTURBATING, something is REAL WRONG), but a question about how you communicate, how much you two share and also how you treat each other.

There should be no way that someone who loves you and wants to marry you is going to reject you over this. (I said "should." But then, you're afraid of this conversation, so of course you're imagining the worst.) Good news: he's given you an opening to the conversation: "Hey, something you once said offhandedly has really stuck with me! And I wanted to talk to you a little about it...."

And I have had this conversation a couple of times, from various sides and perspectives, and it's been good for me! Sometimes a little tricky (I'll keep the details private, but people are all very diverse and magical creatures!) but everything is manageable between adults.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 6:03 AM on August 21, 2011

I can understand and sympathize with the fiancé's concern that "I would worry I wasn't satisfying all of their sexuality"—I think it is unfair when people upthread refer to that as bigoted.

But still, he's got to confront it. You've got to be honest with him. You can reassure him that his concerns are unfounded.

If you're getting married, it's for the long haul, and withholding this would be starting off on badly. You say "I worry…that if he found out he would think of me differently." He might! But consider how he'll feel if you tell him now. Then consider how he'll feel if he finds out in five years.

If you're engaged, the two of you should know each other pretty damn well. He should know you well enough that this isn't going to derail the engagement. If it does derail the engagement, painful as it may be, it should tell you something important about the guy.
posted by adamrice at 6:33 AM on August 21, 2011

I think that a good and solid relationship is one within which one can have conversations about things like this and feel loved, supported, and understood.

That's a different answer than "yes, you should tell him." Honestly, from the few details given, I could see that conversation going poorly, and that's too bad. That's a crappy position for you to be in, feeling like you have to choose between being honest about yourself and keeping him happy.

I am in a stable, long-term, and monogamous relationship with a woman who would, if forced, identify as bisexual or queer. It's an important part of who she is, and I am glad that she felt comfortable telling me. It's no more a threat to our relationship than is her finding some guy on the street cute -- she has chosen to be with me, and whatever she wants to fantasize about in bed isn't going to change that.
posted by Forktine at 7:29 AM on August 21, 2011

Why are people assuming the OP is female? :)
posted by zadcat at 8:15 AM on August 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm a bisexual, who is in a forever-relationship with a man. I think it sucks that your man has these anxieties, and you *should* be able to discuss your feelings with him. However, there is a difference between one's fantasy life and one's real life. 90% percent of my fantasies are about women too, but they also involve certain kinks I would *never* be interested in pursuing in real life. We have an open relationship though, so I don't feel any sense of the forbidden, should I choose to have a relationship of any sort with a woman. There is no grass-is-greener thinking in my life, except for the standard stupidity of long-term ups and downs.

So, the question becomes: do you feel your bisexuality is mostly fantasy based, and you are in a monogamous forever-relationship with a man? (This is, by the way, SUPER duper common.) Or do you think you have some little part of you that thinks you're going to be needing to have fun-times with a woman some time in the future?

He may have said what he said idly, and when faced with a woman who is 100% into him, and satisfied with him, he may change his tune if you're honest. It might, however, make him have unnecessary weirdness any time you have a close friendship with a woman. So, it's really about you. Are you someone who's sown your wild oats and the flings with women are now going to be 100% in your head? If this is the case, disclosure of fantasies are not necessary unless the partner is open and amenable to hearing about them. Personally, I don't share my fantasies with my partner, and he doesn't share his with me. It's just the way we are. My masturbatory life is mine, not his. There is nothing wrong with privacy in this regard.

I do like, as someone mentioned above, being able to admire women with my partner. Say, oooh, she's hot. Or show him a sexy picture I found online that I thought we could admire together. You might not have to say much about your inner life to do that, though.

You should not have to keep secret any past sexual experiences, though, right? I would feel a bit disconcerted should I find out after marrying someone that they had homosexy times and didn't tell me.
posted by RedEmma at 8:30 AM on August 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

zadcat, I wasn't going to say it, but I sure was thinking it. The poster links to an AskMe from a guy who's attracted sexually to other guys and writes, "I'm a little bit of this guy here." It's unfortunate if it is a guy and he didn't clarify that the fiancé involved is another guy, because I suspect some of the answers above would be different. Maybe the poster could send a note to the mods using the contact link at the bottom of the page to clear this point up.
posted by mediareport at 8:30 AM on August 21, 2011

They're assuming that, zadcat, because her fiance (with one e) said he couldn't be with a bisexual *woman*. Seems pretty obvious by the language.
posted by RedEmma at 8:31 AM on August 21, 2011

The fiancé is a guy, sorry; I meant it isn't clear if it's a same-sex couple.
posted by mediareport at 8:32 AM on August 21, 2011

I mean, if he said that and this was a same-sex relationship, he would be bisexual himself, wouldn't he? And that wouldn't make any sense.
posted by RedEmma at 8:34 AM on August 21, 2011

Yeah, never mind. I'm going outside now.
posted by mediareport at 8:37 AM on August 21, 2011

As a bi married female (whose husband never had any problem with it) I would say to tell him. If he is going to be a jerk about it, and not trust you, you should not marry the guy anyway. If you think he has a reason not to trust you (i.e. you're promising him a committed relationship but might want to sleep with women in the future) then you shouldn't marry him.

Keeping silent is going to be a heavy weight for you. Intimacy is not possible when huge secrets exist between you.
posted by desjardins at 8:58 AM on August 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

I cannot fathom getting to the point of engagement with a person and never discussing this. How do you get as far marriage without sharing this? You're OK keeping this kind of secret? You're betraying yourself and you're betraying him. You hid a major part of yourself (even if you are not acting on these feelings) and he doesn't realize that the person he's about to marry is capable of this secrecy.

It's not even about what the secret is, it's about the fact that you are willing to spend the rest of your life with someone who doesn't know who you really are. Bisexuality doesn't define you or necessarily affect the marriage, but not telling him DOES. Don't be THAT woman.
posted by Lullen at 9:08 AM on August 21, 2011

90%!! The vast majority of the OP's sexuality is out of her fiance's ability to even begin to satisfy.
posted by TheKM at 10:48 AM on August 21, 2011

Back the next day with a full keyboard and not an iPhoney one.

I'd pay careful attention to the demographics of the people who are telling you that your identity doesn't matter because you're not going to act on it, or who don't see the benefit of being out with your partner. The benefits are, in fact, not at all dissimilar from the benefits that homosexual people have in coming out to people who aren't their sexual partners: they get to be themselves, to present a face to the world that matches their internal image of themselves, they don't have to hide or repress huge facets of their pasts. Repression isn't good for anybody. Hiding yourself from your primary partner is even worse--this is the one place in life where you should be accepted truly and whole-heartedly. I wasn't always fully out to my husband (I had trouble labeling myself until a few years ago), but I'm so much more comfortable and happy since I've been able to articulate these facets of myself to him.

I know it's scary. You're not sure that he'll really be able to cope. But I genuinely do think that, once you share this with him and give him time to process, he'll surprise you. But you need to give him a chance first.

(Also, you can call yourself whatever you want. Don't listen to those who are telling you you're not bi. You know better than any of us.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:50 AM on August 21, 2011 [5 favorites]

90%!! The vast majority of the OP's sexuality is out of her fiance's ability to even begin to satisfy.

. . . like this. 90% of my fantasies are about actors from TV shows. That doesn't mean my husband doesn't satisfy me just because he's not Eric Northman or Christina Hendricks. Seriously, you're fine.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:52 AM on August 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

There are different answers to this: moral, personal, interpersonal, even social. I wouldn't discount the social or the moral. Too many times we do things because it's easier that way, or it seems like we'd keep what we have that way, or we can go through lives with less pain that way-- but anything that takes courage and being true to your feelings and identity will ultimately pay off, even if it's in your own comfort in your skin. Even just a week ago I'd have given you the same answer, but worded purely in personal terms of emotion. Now... I'm more willing to say that the personal is political, in its own way. Who we are matters. People dealing with us respectfully and kindly on that level matters. This isn't just about relationship, but about the very foundation of an ethical interaction between individuals or groups.

It's not about who you masturbate to, which matters not, but about who you are, which does. Yes, a person's ego may fixate on the little things which may incur jealousy, but that doesn't mean that we must pander to our loved ones' egos. Instead, we must respect their intelligence and their moral potential, and we must respect ourselves.

If you literally never get off even just thinking about him, or he doesn't register in your mind primarily or strongly as a sexually-charged being, this can be a serious issue. I would not recommend getting married to someone you love asexually unless you're both truly asexual. If you do love him sexually, I'd recommend diving into that feeling headfirst and exploring your responses, but this is secondary. I will say that if your sex-life is very good and he knows he's satisfying you fully, your bisexuality would not be an issue.

I speak as a bisexual female who's pretty strongly political about the issue, but who'd actually feel the same way about being with a bisexual guy (ie, I'd worry). That worry, I think, is pretty human; there is something the other person wants on an instinctual level, so strongly, and you can't provide it. People are weak (in general), and divorce and cheating are everywhere, and even well-meaning sexually-compatible people do it. It's always hard to take a leap of faith, but harder when the leap is farther. In essence, you can't trust bisexuals-- you can only trust one person, who you love. I'd trust someone because it's them, and I know them. How do you know someone, how do you trust them? Because you know them. Because you know how they feel, who they are, what they want. You know they're honest, devoted, committed, open, and they love you. Then, in many ways "identity" ceases to matter in the face of eternity.
posted by reenka at 12:12 PM on August 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

I identify as a mostly straight girl. I live with my male partner. The majority of my masturbatory fantasies involve women, because I don't really see the point of masturbating while thinking about a man when my partner is there, willing to fulfill any man-fantasies I may have. Thus, the 90% thing doesn't seem that weird/such of a red flag to me. That said, what KathrynT says about being able to share a "Whuff"with your partner is the main thing I would miss if my partner didn't know about my women-crushes. Tell the truth, if only because it's the easiest thing to remember and you don't want to "get caught" 15 years from now and have it be a big honking deal.
posted by coppermoss at 12:25 PM on August 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Why are you even considering getting married to a person with whom you can't talk about your sexual desires? Live your life true to yourself and you'll avoid hurting yourself and others.
posted by Revvy at 5:43 PM on August 21, 2011

The rest of your lives together is going to be a long time. Do you really want to spend that entire time wondering if your husband would have married you if he really knew you?
posted by endless_forms at 6:30 PM on August 21, 2011

The subject matter (at any percentage) of sexual fantasies does not 'prove' sexual orientation. A lot of people (myself included) jerk off to scenarios that they do not want or could not have or don't feel strongly enough to pursue in real life (nice thing about fantasies is that they're totally under your control.) And not disclosing your sexual fantasies or prior sexual experiences is not 'keeping secrets;' you're under no obligation to describe what you have or have not done with persons of either gender.

The reason that I think you should tell him is that it is a legitimate part of your identity that you shouldn't need to hide or relinquish -- that's no way to deal with a partner's insecurities. It's totally okay to modify specific behaviors in deference to a partner's insecurities within reason, but "I'll stop chitchating with my old roommate while you and I are in the car together because it makes you feel pushed aside" is a very different thing than "I'll stop caring about my friends because it seems to bother you."

Echoing what PhoBWanKenobi said about the benefits of being out of the closet. It's apparently really difficult for people to really wrap their heads around bisexuality, as evidenced by the number of people who think that I don't count as queer any more because I'm married to a man. [sigh] Bisexual invisibility is why bisexuals are considered to be fundamentally unfaithful. Because once in a committed relationship, we aren't necessarily demonstrating our sexuality in a way that makes it super-easy for everyone around us to put us in the correct category, egads.

Relationships are between individuals who make sense to each other in our particular idiosyncratic ways, it's not just a matter of "human in designated category." Being bisexual doesn't really have a thing to do with the ability to be monogamous.
posted by desuetude at 10:15 PM on August 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

While the mister and I were still dating I told him that I was bi-sexual. He told me something serious about his past sexual history. Having all the cards showing while you're still dating, before making an ultimate commitment, is very important.

Please tell your fiancé, he deserves to know.
posted by deborah at 1:40 PM on August 22, 2011

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