Is It Too Late to Be Bisexual?
I’m married to a man, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less attracted to women.
Sexuality is fluid, day to day and throughout our lives. That certainly is the case for me. I grew up in a world where straight was the only way to be. I was going to get married and have children. That was that, and I never questioned it, even though my heart beat a different story.
I’m married to a man and have two wonderful children. Everyone assumes I’m heterosexual, they always have. But I’m not. I’m bisexual. Writing that feels strange. I’ve always had trouble accepting it, and I haven’t told anyone outright, except my husband.
He’s okay with it, finds it sexy, because he knows I love him. He knows I chose him, chose this life. And I’m happy with my choice, on the one hand, but on the other, I’m filled with longing and confusion because I’m still very attracted to women and because I feel like that part of me is unsatisfied. So what do I do with that now? Do I ignore it? Is it too late to be bisexual?
My first crush…
Growing up, I felt confused about my sexuality. I knew girls liked and married boys and anything else was bad. But I was aware and had a very vivid crush on a girl in elementary school. I had a few, actually, but this one was electric. She laid her head in my lap once, and I felt shocked. My legs turned to jello, and something loud flew through me and tickled my heart, quickened its pace. I liked her a lot, but I felt like it was a bad thing, something I couldn’t let anyone know. And she felt like something I could never have, a part of me I had to ignore.
It wasn’t until I was a young adult that I was able to admit to myself that I really did want a relationship with a woman.
I had many crushes, some boys, some girls. The boys were always conscious choices (until my husband). I’d think about it and pick someone who was nice to me or funny or cute, but the girl crushes were always unexpected, charged, if that makes any sense. Maybe it was because they were forbidden, maybe it was because I’m just more attracted to women than men, or maybe it’s just because different is different. I don’t know.
I kissed a girl… and had sex with her.
I had only one sexual relationship with another woman. We were both barely 20 and she was my childhood best friend. Unfortunately, it was the exact opposite of good… We grew up together, shared ink pads in kindergarten, endured abuse, and created a worm hospital together. She was beautiful and sexy by all standards, but she was like a sister to me, so I didn’t really see her that way. Aside from that, I wasn’t at all ready for it because of traumatic life events that happened only months before. And now, married with a child, she didn’t want me to just have sex with her… she wanted me to also have sex with her husband, someone I found completely unattractive.
I really didn’t want to. I even cried. But she persisted, and I had shitty boundaries, so ultimately, I agreed. Over the next couple of months, the three of us had a very short, very drunk, fling. I needed to be wasted every time we had sex. That’s how good it was.
The relationship left me feeling lost and hollow, and I immediately began looking for someone to fill the void. I had two crushes. One boy, one girl, and neither gave me the time of day. Then John entered the picture. He was handsome, chiseled, and a poet. Sounds perfect. He was also younger than me, only talked about how great he was, and didn’t drink, so it was doomed from the start. I only dated him for a few weeks when the man who I married asked me out.
I was never a cheater, so I immediately called John and broke it off to date Jason. And here I am 21 years later with two kids, two cats, and a single family suburban home.
The struggle is real…
Over the years, I’ve struggled with my feelings about women. Sure I’ll see a hot guy and find him attractive, but that feels so benign. I have absolutely no desire to be with another guy. I’m completely satisfied with my husband. I love him. Those hotties are purely eye-candy. My attraction for women, though, doesn’t feel quite so simple.
I often wonder what it would be like to be in a relationship with a woman, what the sex would be like. Love scenes between women have always aroused me, but as I get older, I have another feeling… a heaviness, sadness, longing.
I have a friend who realized she was gay when she was in her 40’s. She was married, with children and decided to divorce her husband to pursue a woman. She married the woman, then divorced her, and is now in a relationship with another woman. She’s happy, but that’s not the life I want.
I know I’m committed to my husband, to my marriage. I’m satisfied and happy with that, but there’s this other, very real part of me that I have to accept will never be satisfied, and in many instances, wont even be acknowledged. We’re the largest part of the LGBTQ community, but some people in that community shun bisexuality, believing we’re actually gay and can’t admit it, or that we’re just in a phase. The same is true for many people in the hetero community.
And so, here we all are, invisible, unsure of where we fit in, and unsure of what we should do with our very real feelings.
There’s no right or wrong way to be bisexual.
Bisexuality is different for everyone. I know some bisexual men and women have threesomes and flings, but that’s not what I want, and I’m sure that’s not what my husband wants. As I said, I don’t believe in cheating, and I don’t feel I’d be comfortable with sharing either my husband or another woman consensually. I’m not that secure; I know I’d feel jealousy. And I wouldn’t be able to look at sex as just sex, either. It’s always so much more. And for me bisexuality is more than just sex too.
So here I am, at 43, perplexed with these adolescent feelings that I wish I could’ve come to terms with when I was 17, when I could’ve fully explored this part of myself. Wishing won’t make it happen, though. So what can I do? Life is a series of decisions, and with each comes a consequence. I’ve chosen this life, this hetero-looking life, and I’m committed to that; I wouldn’t give that up.
I wish it was as easy as that, decision made, but it isn’t. Being bisexual, having these dueling attractions, feels so complicated. If I’m straight, I’m satisfied with a man. If I’m gay, I’m satisfied with a woman. But I’m neither, I’m bi, so there’s really no simple way to solve that equation and be true to my sexuality. I have to choose. And in choosing, I feel like I have to lose out on a part of myself.
I used to think that love was all that mattered. You fall in love and it didn’t really matter if that person was male, female, transgendered, etc. You love who you love. But as I’ve gotten older, sexuality feels so much more complicated than that, and I’m not sure why.
It may be because I’m becoming more comfortable with sex and my own feelings. It may be because I’m entering middle-age, and life feels short. It may be because I’m finally honoring and respecting myself in ways I wasn’t able to before. Whatever the reason, though, there’s this rift in my heart that I really don’t know how to mend.
It’s a lonely place to be. No one really gets it on either side of the fence. And because bisexuality is so confusing to everyone, that rift in my heart is as invisible as my bisexuality. So I’m left feeling half invisible and feeling like I don’t quite fit, I’m not completely welcome, in either community. And to compound it, this invisibility makes it hard to find my people and have a place to fit in, to figure this all out.
I envy and respect my cousins and friends who have embraced their homosexuality and live it out loud. Maybe if I fell in love with a woman, I would’ve found that path. As a bisexual woman who is in love with a man, though, It’s hard to know where to start.
So for now, I’ll give clues when the occasions arise. And I’ll continue exploring my wants and needs with my husband by my side. I may feel partially invisible, but I do exist. I don’t have to be silent or give up that part of myself because I chose to marry a man. It’s not too late to be every part of me.
There is no time limit on sexuality. We don’t have to declare ourselves, our identities, our sexualities by age 10 or 16 or even 52. Life is a roller coaster. We are not static. We grow throughout our lives, and we get to continue to figure it all out, be different people, and learn to love ourselves, accept ourselves, over and over, as we are. I guess that, right there, is the best place to start. So here it goes…