My husband admitted to me at the beginning of this year that he’s bisexual. I’d had my suspicions for a while but I’d never asked. I figured I don’t care what guy he’s doing as long as A) he comes home to me every night, B) he stays safe and doesn’t get something we can’t deal with, and C) he maybe lets me join sometimes. But even after admitting he’s bisexual and has been on Grindr he swears he’s never cheated. And I believe him wholeheartedly. What gets me is every time I bring up having another guy in the bedroom he refuses. He won’t even talk about it. And some days I wonder if it’s because of the time he’s spent in prison but I think it’s more than that. I think he believes that he’s not a man if he admits to me that he wants to fool around with other men. And I’ve tried so hard to explain to him how much I love him and how hot it is that he likes other men. I’ve tried explaining that it doesn’t make him less of a man and I don’t think less of him for it. But I’m afraid I’m not great at expressing those things and so I was hoping you could help me. Thanks.
Your husband is going through a new and confusing experience. As someone who’s navigated my own attraction to men, I can tell you it’s a very internal, very difficult journey.
I’m not certain what your definition of “cheating” is, but I gather it’s having sex with someone else without telling you first. You’re obviously OK with him sleeping with other men without you present — you just need to know about it, right?
Here’s a fact: you can’t make someone talk. You can’t make him tell you everything. There are parts of his journey you will never know about, and you can’t speed it along. But since he was comfortable enough to tell you about his attraction to men — something difficult to share — then you have a firm basis to believe he’ll be equally forthcoming when he’s ready to take the next step.
That next step may not be a threesome, and that may not be because he feels like “less of a man” with men. He may simply not be into threesomes — and that’s completely justified. Threesomes are tough.
They’re not impossible to pull off, but they’re certainly not easy. When sex researcher Justin Lehmiller polled people for his book, he found that threesomes are one of the most popular fantasies we have. But in my humble experience, the threesome fantasy never measures up to its reality. It’s hard to divide your attention evenly between two people, and if emotions are raw and confidence is shaky, it’s easy to feel left out.
Assuming he reaches a point at which the idea of a threesome sounds fun, you should plan ahead how you will structure it. The best threesomes are structured with two people showering attention on a third, or with one person who enjoys playing flaneur mostly watching the other two play. The magical scenario of three people evenly falling into sync with each other and automatically knowing what to do only happens in porn. Real threesomes tend to be uneven, even awkward.
Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing wrong with wanting a threesome. But in order to avoid the pain and arguments that threesomes commonly cause, he has to want a threesome, too — and it sounds like he doesn’t.
It makes sense that he isn’t leaping at the thought of you witnessing his first forays into sex with men in real-time. The idea of having any kind of sexual encounter with a man may be very overwhelming to him — so think about how much more overwhelming it could be with you watching. Doing so would require him to navigate not only his own complicated feelings but worry about yours as well. That sounds very stressful.
He needs to explore on his own, at least in the beginning, because his sexuality belongs to him, not you. He may struggle to talk about it, so be patient. It doesn’t matter if you’re comfortable with him having sex with men — what matters is if he is. He might not be right now.
All you can do is extend a hand, an open invite to talk and share whenever he’s ready.
For what it’s worth, you sound like a great partner, and he’s lucky to have you.
I will start with who I am, a 20-year-old gay man who has had HIV for 2 years in January. I am also Afro-Latino making me from looking at statistics almost expected with both my lineages of having gay POC being more likely to get HIV. I just want to ask am I really alone in my situation of being young and HIV positive? Will there be people accepting of my situation both within sexual partners and romantic partners?
My sweet one, my brother. You are not alone. You’re a member of my family now, and you will find the best men. You will find friends who become lovers, lovers who become partners, partners who become friends. Every rejection from someone scared of HIV clears the path for you to move forward and leave them behind.
It won’t always be easy. There will be days when you’re rushing to the clinic to get your meds before it closes, nights you’ll lie awake worrying about health insurance, and painful rejections from people too stupid and scared to see past something in your blood. But you have life — one paid for by the greatest activists of our age.
Your life was won by queer, trans Black and Brown people who marched in the streets and threw the ashes of their loved ones on the lawn of the White House, who put on heels and glitter and gave their tips to organizations fighting for us, who kicked cops and disrupted traffic and brought the world’s attention to New York and L.A. and San Francisco. They did all that so that you can do this.
Many of them were young — younger than you. Many of them caught it in their first loves, their first sexual encounters. Queer people of color are still fighting racism and police and prison to effectively combat this disease and they are doing so more powerfully and compassionately than any other group affected by it.
I caught it when I was 21. Year One was hard. The sting of rejection never fully goes away, but it becomes your default way to weed out the trash. Those who reject you are the ones you can’t help, can’t teach, can’t bother with. The ones who love and fuck you freely without fear are the ones who comprise the people in your life.
Great relationships and great sex are ahead. Stick around to experience it.