“Don't you ever miss being with a man?”
I couldn't tell you the number of times I was asked this question while I was dating my girlfriend (now ex-girlfriend) monogamously.
I know the answer people expect me to say. “Of course not! I love this one person for who they are, and they're enough to make me feel happy and complete. It doesn't matter what's between someone's legs. It's only their personality that matters.”
But the truth of the matter isn't that simple. Yes, I absolutely miss men when dating women monogamously. Saying that I don't would be a blatant lie. It's different dating a woman than it is dating a man. There are gender norms that come into play while I'm dating a woman. Of course, I do my best to fight against these gender norms, and to have a relationship on our terms, but that's something I actively have to fight against. With a man, these gender norms are often thrown out the window, which I love, because there's no traditional set up for how two men should be dating. But on the flip side, we can easily compare ourselves to one another, which often leads to an unspoken competition. We compare our bodies to one another. Our careers. How many guys flirt with each of us at the gay bar. Having sex with men is just different than having sex with women. When I'm having sex with a 250-pound muscle daddy, it's not the same as having sex with a petite 115-pound woman.
If I'm being perfectly blunt: I like dick as well as boobs and vagina. I like all of it. And yes, I am attracted to body parts as well as a person's personality. I like big butts and perky tits. I like pretty penises. I shouldn't be ashamed to admit that.
Being bi, for me, doesn't mean I don't care about a person's appearance. It doesn't mean that I'm only attracted to personality. On the contrary, it means I'm attracted to various physical forms and different genitalia (along with personality as well)!
So yeah, I absolutely do miss men when I'm dating a woman monogamously.
But here's the thing that gay and straight folks seem to forget when they ask me this question. That they, surely, miss sleeping with other people when they're in a monogamous relationship too. They miss being intimate with other men or women (depending on their sexual orientation). If you're a gay man, sleeping with one man doesn't satisfy every single one of your male attractions. Similarly, if you're a straight woman, surely, at times, you miss being intimate with other men besides your husband.
Attractions don't disappear when we're in a monogamous relationship. If they did, bi folks would identify as either straight or gay once we got married. However, there's a reason why we don't. This is why we work so hard to make our bisexuality visible, even if we're in a monogamous relationship. Our sexuality is not dependent upon whom we're intimate with at that time.
So while yes, I'm still attracted to other people while I'm dating someone monogamously, and oftentimes I find myself yearning for genders of folks that aren't the person I'm dating, I've still made a commitment. That's another thing people seem to forget. If I give someone my word that I will be monogamous with them, I'm sticking to it. Trust is also implied and connected to this commitment. So if I'm finding the urge to sleep with a man too great, my commitment insures that I would let my female partner know rather than cheating on her (or my male partner know rather than cheating on him). Then, together, we would discuss what the next steps are.
Let me give an example. My ex was also bi. She was primarily dating women before dating me. Every couple of weeks, we would check in to see if we felt like we needed to open up our relationship or wanted to perhaps be monogamish. Every time we told the truth: yes, we do miss being with people of other genders, but no, we don't want to open up our relationship and complicate things at this time. The urge isn't that great, and right now we prefer to be monogamous. We prefer to have the stability and comfort that comes with being in a committed relationship, as opposed to the novelty and excitement (and often complications) that come from being in an open one.
It won't come as a shock to you that I'm now polyamorous. But I absolutely do not want to perpetuate the stereotype that all bi folks are polyamorous, or that we're all cheaters or anything like that. That is not true.
But I'd be willing to bet that even bi monogamous folks sometimes do miss sleeping with people of another gender.
And there is nothing wrong with that.