Ask A Bi Dad: OCD, Ratios and Dating Advice

By Lewis Oakley

September 08, 2023



Hi Lewis,

I am a 24-year-old male who recently embraced my bisexuality after a long road of deep reflection. I have a good support network with my immediate family and they have been very helpful as I’ve sorted this out. I have experienced sexual attraction to men and women and romantic/emotional attraction to women. I live in the United States, working as a registered nurse.

I have some questions and am looking for some advice. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

1.) Many people think that being bi, especially for men, is a “gateway to being gay”. Any advice on how to counter this? I have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), for which I am seeking professional help, and I’m afraid these biphobic attitudes could kickstart patterns of anxious thinking that I’m “secretly gay” even though I know I’m not.

2.) Are “ratios” a good way to measure bisexuality? This is really where my anxiety stems. I’ve been physically attracted to both women and men, but most of my sexual fantasies are about men, and the most frequent ones involve men I know I’m not romantically attracted to. I struggle trying to figure out where I fall on the bisexuality spectrum. I think I have a stronger physical preference for men (70:30) and exclusive romantic/emotional interest in women. But I have also seen my sexual attractions go up and down at different stages in my life, causing flare-ups of my anxiety and OCD. A good rule that’s been helping me is telling myself that “I know I’m bisexual because I experience attractions to men and women” and leaving it at that. I also know it is not “just a phase” as I’ve felt these attractions my whole life. I will say that my physical attraction to women has been more prevalent these past years than in my teenage years.

3.) What general rules do you give bi men who are looking for dating advice? I am looking particularly at dating/partnering with bi women. My long-term goal would be to partner with a bi woman and hopefully start a family. I was thinking of bi dating apps to get started, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself or discouraged if I don’t get many matches.

I would greatly appreciate your feedback. I recently discovered your work and I look forward to seeing and reading more of it. Thank you.



Hello Teddy,

Thanks so much for reaching out.

As you know, I am not an OCD specialist so I can only encourage you to do exactly what you are doing in seeking professional help. As for where I can add perspective, questioning your bisexuality is probably the best sign of being bi. Gay men tend to question their sexuality less since they know they don’t like women. So rather than being undermined by these anxieties and worrying that you’re “secretly gay”, the next time you have them, recognize them as a verification of your sexuality, because in my experience, especially early on, this is the most common experience.

As for ratios, I don’t much care for them. I’ve always felt that ratios were used to discredit bisexuality. People would try to say “well, you’ve slept with more women than you have men, so you must really be straight.” Think of bisexuality as a car, just because you’ve used it to go to the supermarket more than the hair salon doesn’t change the car's ability to go to both locations. Your bisexuality gives you the power to be attracted to women and men. If you find yourself leaning more towards one, that might have more to do with the talent on offer than your hormones. Of course, the flip side of this is people's bisexuality falls on a spectrum — some are 90/10, some 50/50, but the important thing to remember is that wherever you fall on that spectrum, you’re still bi.

You may very well be more sexually attracted to one sex and romantically attracted to another. That’s bisexuality, it comes in many forms, and just when you think you understand it, it evolves again. You are right to try not to read too much into it. You have to just enjoy the ride, the people you meet, and the experiences you have, and eventually, a special someone might just come along with the right mix of sex and romance that you want to make it official.

That would also be my advice for your final question. I understand having partner goals, even straight people do this — “I’m going to marry a doctor” — and it’s the same with wanting to date a bi woman. It might happen, it might not. My advice would be not to obsess over it. It can be quite negative, because every time you meet a bi woman, you don’t want to force your feelings. That doesn’t sound healthy. Life may have other plans for you, and if you are to truly embrace your bisexual journey, you can’t go into it with everything all mapped out. Your plan will go out the window anyway when you meet the right person. Chemistry trumps life plans every time.

I hope that helped.


Lewis Oakley standing confidently and smiling against a brick building.

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 in the UK, 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.