Welcome to Ask A Bi Dad
By Lewis Oakley
October 19, 2021
Photo credit: Pexels/Andres Ayrton
Welcome to bi.org's newest biweekly advice column, Ask A Bi Dad. Lewis has been a long-time friend and occasional contributor, and we are thrilled to have him doing this. Discovering your own bisexuality, coming to terms with it, coming out to others, and dating can be daunting for many of us. We're hoping that this can be a place where some of those burning questions can be answered, and we can show that being bi really isn't that complicated.
I’m also bi and I know things work differently for couples. Even though I’m with a woman, I’m still attracted to men.
I guess I wanted to ask, do you get the itch and how do you deal with that and communicating it to your partner?
Sam — Australia
You are definitely not alone in this. I think the first thing to say is, don’t look at this as a bisexual issue. All people in a relationship, whether gay, straight or bi, have attractions outside of their partner. That means your girlfriend will too.
Couples tend to ignore this and pretend that their hormones died the day they met each other. For bi folks, people tend to make this a bigger issue than it is, purely because we can be attracted to more than one set of genitals. Unfortunately, because it is a stigma, bi people can end up believing it themselves and, as a result, overthink their attractions.
When it comes to handling this, I would say, don’t fight it. Your attractions are natural. You could fantasise about the person, watch porn or just appreciate the attraction and move on.
Where it becomes a problem is if you were to act on your attractions with someone else if that was not what you and your partner agreed on. Some couples are monogamous, some aren’t, some like to experiment, some don’t. Make sure that no matter your sexuality or what gender is involved that you’re not sneaking around doing things you’ll regret.
When it comes to broaching that topic with your other half, the truth is you already know what to do because you know your partner better than anyone else. You know how they will react, which means any anxiety you have about it is probably valid, and the approach you plan to take is probably the right one.
If you can, approach everything as a question — have you ever used a sex toy with a partner? Why not? Were you afraid of something? So, you’re not against it? Would you like to try it with me? This puts the power with them and gives you the option of jumping in with your opinion only if you want to.
I would also say, don’t forget, nothing is as good as the fantasy. I know many people that go to live out their sexual fantasy only to find the reality wasn’t nearly as good as they’d imagined it. Being in a relationship is amazing; always make sure you prioritise that ahead of any sexual urges.
Good luck — and remember that itch is totally natural — enjoy it.
What advice would you give to this reader? Give us your take in the comments below.
Bisexual people often have few other bi people to turn to for support or to ask questions. This means we often can’t build on the experience of other bi people and improve things for the next generation. Ask a Bi Dad is aimed at tackling this.
Lewis Oakley is one of the leading bi advocates and writers, campaigning to improve the public’s perception of bisexuality. Recognised by the Pride Power List 2021 and with various award nominations under his belt, Lewis has been successful in making bisexuality national news.
Lewis knows more than most how lonely being bisexual can feel, particularly in those early years. Now, confident in himself, his relationship, and a dad of two, Lewis recognises how rare and lucky he is. This is why he wants to help where he can by answering the questions of bi people from all around the world.
If you have a question that you would like a perspective on, email at [email protected]
*Lewis is not a licenced therapist, and the advice offered in this column is not intended to replace or substitute for any professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological, or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist.