I'm a 43 year old man, only had hetero relationships and I was married for 18 years.
I have had a few same sex encounters but only as a teen. There probably would have been more but I was faithful in my marriage and I've only ever kissed a guy as an adult (in front of and with approval from my wife). So far, so what.
I'm not faking my attraction to women, but there's always been a part of me that's attracted to men. Well, a certain type of man. My wife knew, but we both just kind of dismissed it as a sexual curiosity thing, she even said outright that I wasn't bi.
I grew up in a home that wasn't particularly homophobic but it definitely followed the prevailing attitudes of the time, and my mum definitely had a thing against bi guys (just make up your mind!). This is really difficult to think about, let alone talk about.
My sexual attraction to men is quite specific, as is the type of guy I fancy. I'm not into masculine men or very feminine men, more androgenous. I also prefer women who are tomboyish and not Burberry Barbies.
To be clear, this feels like it's more than just a sex thing. I think I could see myself in a relationship with the right type of guy but the thought also terrifies me.
Thank you for communicating your situation. You don't specifically say but I am guessing the implication is that your marriage of 18 years has ended?
It's interesting to me how you are exploring your thoughts like that. I think I would say - please don't feel scared of your feelings but embrace them, there's no point in fighting them. Your sexuality is hard-wired in. However, that said, often people don't fully realise until they are older. I am a gay man but I had a close Bi friend who always said it wasn't the best of both worlds, as some people put it, but almost the worst of both worlds. You can be piggy-in-the-middle. You can't just make up your mind like that. He has lived with both men and women and now lives alone and enjoys mostly sex with men now and then. I think there is much more understanding these days in the general population.
At the end of the day there are no rules except be careful, respectful, and kind, so how you proceed in exploring your sexuality is up to you I would say. Most of us, however, adjust our behaviour to the social norm of where we live and sometimes it is satisfactory and sometimes it's not. Again, it is between you and your partner or partners how you conduct your life.
Don't be frightened to talk to the Switchboard volunteers any time between 10am and 10pm. It's all anonymous and free. You don't have to be living in London to ring.
Glad you have reach out to us. Also, don't worry about labels either unless you feel better with one, but it does sound to me like you are on the Bi spectrum. Nothing to be ashamed of.
Thanks for your post and welcome to the OutLife forums.
I guess I'd like to start by saying that bi-erasure, where people deny the existence of bi people, or denigrate them, is a very real prejudice within and without the LGBTQ+ community. It's one of the reasons that lots of bi people have poor mental health, as they struggle to receive acknowledgement and acceptance both inside and outside queer circles. As a gay man myself, my experience isn't the same, but I can imagine how much harder life would be if my sexuality felt under attack from many angles. The whole "make up your mind" or "you're greedy" responses are experienced by lots of people who are bi, pansexual, or don't identify as a specific orientation but have sex with both men and women. It's really crappy and something that we should all be campaigning to change.
I'm not here to tell you whether you're bi or not, only you can do that, but I do think it might be good to connect with some people and organisations that can help you connect with your own thoughts and feelings in a positive, supportive way. Below I'm going to list some support resources that you may find helpful:
- Switchboard 0300 330 0630 - Is an LGBTQ+ helpline that's been going for decades. It's an incredible resource and you can talk to them about whatever you want. If you don't fancy calling, you can also talk via webchat switchboard.lgbt/ or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Bi groups - There are tonnes of bi groups out there. Some are run by charities, like this one via zoom on June 14th from LGBT Foundation lgbt.foundation/who-we-help/bi-people and you can also find loads on Meetup etc. If you're up for it, going to one and talking to people, in a supportive, kind environment could be a good move? For instance, here's the group for London Bisexuals www.meetup.com/london-bisexuals/
- If you're looking for more resources, then the Bi Resource Center is a great place to start! biresource.org/
I hope that you find some of the above useful. We're always here if you want to chat more or have any more questions. And please, do give us an update!
Yes, my marriage ended but not because of this. Tbh my ex wife would have probably been down to watch me with a guy and join in. Lol. I also have mental health issues.
I was chatting online with some friends last night about this. Looking for advice I suppose, the group I'm in has experience with LGBTQ matters and I'm so ignorant of the culture. Yes, I use preferred pronouns and support equality but what right minded person wouldn't? We raised our daughter right too, she had no problems coming out to her mum and me as pan ( she's 13). Idk where I'm going with this, but I basically came out as bi to the group. It felt... weird? Not bad, just weird to see myself type it after thinking about it for ever but never saying anything.
I had the best night's sleep I've had in weeks.
I'm nowhere near ready to come out to the world at large, but there are a few people I want to tell. My daughter for one. I'm going to speak to my care coordinator first though. I'm in no way equipped for this right now.
This whole situation is so scary, I wish I'd have handled it years ago but I really thought I'd missed my chance when I had it as a 20 year old.
Sorry to ramble, my brain is going 1000mph right now.
Great to hear all that, Nutsy. Wonderful you have talked with friends like that - excellent. It's never too late to come to terms with who you are.
Coming out is a process and it's important you feel comfortable with how you go about it and who you tell. It's lovely to hear you are already planning that. I 'came out' and 'bottled out' all my life often wishing it didn't matter or thinking that it wasn't anybodies business. I was mostly among religious people who refused to believe me, so the situation was hard. However, I have slowly found it is in my best interest to be out-proud and certainly it has been helpful to those around me to know where they stand.
Definitely recommend you talk with your care coordinator. I am Autistic and I totally understand how difficult it can be to control one's nerves when facing change. I have needed a ton of support over the years for which I am very grateful.
That sounds wonderful, Nutsy! It is great when you finally identify who you are, and are able to be open about it. Also wonderful there have been no negative responses. You clearly have kind and open minded friends and family.
I'm so lucky. I'm sure I'll face some less tolerant people in the future, but so far the response has been very positive.
I've surrounded myself with good people, and there are some real allies within reach. Two of my friends said they're watching for any negatively or downright homophobia ready to provide some firm education 💪🤣