***I wrote this over a year ago but felt the need to share it with Bi.com despite my misgivings about trolls and such. Maybe there’s a woman out there who’s struggling with her attractions to women or someone who believes negative things about bisexuals. Hopefully this will help at least one person. My life has changed in some MAJOR ways since I wrote this. My family and I moved to Texas from Southern Indiana a little over a month ago. Any new friends I meet in Texas will know that I’m bi…I don’t feel like I have to tiptoe around anymore since we live in a pretty progressive area (thank god). There are groups I can join and places I can go to meet women, without feeling like a weirdo. The other thing that’s changed is I don’t question or damn my bisexuality anymore. I love that part of me and am completely comfortable with it. It just took some getting used to!
I am your average 31 year old married mom. I live in Southern Indiana in a big house on the edge of town. I go to college and adore my pets. My daughter and I like to go to yard sales and shop at Goodwill. I love going camping in the summer and spending time with my family. I love my husband so much it hurts. On the surface, I look like the most average person in the world. In reality, I'm nothing like that. I am bisexual. This might not sound like a big deal but for me, it was life-shaking. I was blissfully unaware for most of my life that I was attracted to women. I couldn't understand why I avoided the friendship of women, why I would get that funny feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever a pretty girl smiled at me. Most people won't understand how something like that can go unnoticed for over half your life. If you're not looking for it, you'll never see it. Bisexuality is like a disease if it's unrecognized. It slowly seeps into every aspect of your life until your relationships suffer and you feel like you're lost in a fog. Once it's acknowledged, it becomes a quest, something that you want to learn everything about and experience all at once.
As a bisexual woman living in the heart of the Midwest, it's tough. I can't tell my friends and family that I date women outside my marriage, I have to hide the bi-themed books I read and keep my feelings to myself. No one except my husband knows what the pink, blue and purple bracelet on my right wrist means. Being bi has had its ups and downs for me. Some days I hate it. I hate being so attracted to the waitress in a restaurant that I stutter when she asks me if I need anything. I hate trolling the dating sites looking for a woman who doesn't mind dating a couple. I hate feeling like no one really knows me, except for my husband and the women I've dated. On the other hand, I love kissing a woman. I love the way her skin feels next to mine. I love the tender, romantic way women court each other. I love and nurture the part of me where my bisexuality lives. I love the way my life feels finally complete when I have a woman in it.
My husband and I have a very strong marriage. It wasn't always this way. Before I admitted my bisexuality, I was closed off and disinterested in sex. Now I feel like there's nothing I couldn't tell him. He understands my need to be with a woman and doesn't get jealous when I check out a girl in the grocery store. Our experiments in and out of the bedroom have strengthened our marriage to the point where I know without a doubt he is my best friend and soul mate. I know it's hard for the mainstream public to understand why a couple would want to open their marriage up to another person. For me, it wasn't a choice as much as it was a necessity. I needed to be with a woman in order to be happy. If I wasn't with a woman, then I needed to acknowledge that I wanted to be. Just being able to admit to myself and him how attracted to women I am has changed my life. I believe I could go the rest of my life without being with another woman. As long as I have my husband by my side, I would be fine. Of course, I am lucky enough to have the option to date women and explore my sexuality. I don't have to find out what life is like ignoring the fact that I'm bi. I consider myself a very lucky woman to have a wonderful, supportive husband.
My first foray into dating outside my marriage was disastrous. I met someone who was completely wrong for me but I was so anxious to experience being with a woman that I ignored all the signs. It grew to the point where my husband was resentful of her and she was jealous of him. Since then, we've adjusted our expectations and found what works. Dating another woman together has it's ups and downs. I remember the first time he was openly attracted to someone and what it felt like when he kissed her for the first time. I was devastated. I remember thinking, “So this is what he feels like when he sees me kiss a woman.” The ensuing night was phenominal but those first few moments were rough for me. Another experience taught me the value of being very clear and upfront about what I was looking for. Yet another experience taught me not to get my hopes up, a lot of women are toying with the idea of being bisexual when, in reality, they have no intention of ever acting upon it. In the last few years, I've been built up and let down more than I have seen things follow through. I've been led on and had twice as many dates cancelled than I have been on. The dating world for a married woman is brutal but I have hope that eventually the right woman will come my way. I have to believe that.
I'm not “out” to anyone, other than my husband and a couple of friends. I don't intend for my family to ever know I am bi. I understand the need to come out, to finally have no more secrets from the people you care about. For me, it would be disastrous so I avoid the subject entirely. I don't think I need my mom to know I sleep with women in order to be a true bisexual. When you're dating women, that's one of the first questions they ask. Are you “out” and to whom? I'm not opposed to coming out, I think it's right for some people and not good for others. In my life, there aren't many people who would understand my need to be with women and my husband's understanding of that need. Southern Indiana isn't exactly a progressive state like that. Around here, you're considered the oddity if you're gay. Gay people are laughed at, made fun of, and in general, avoided. Coming out for me would mean my daughter would be aware of my sex life, something I really want to avoid. I don't think it's anyone's business what and who my husband and I do in our bedroom. There are people who chastise me for not coming out. I've been called a closet bisexual and more, in chat rooms and by women I've tried to date. Maybe I am but it's my decision to make. I don't need the complications in my life right now. When my husband and I move away to another state, away from our family, I probably will be more open about my sexuality.
Living in a closed minded Southern Indiana town as a bisexual is hard. There are no groups I can belong to, no one I can really trust. I feel like I lead a double life. On one hand, I'm a devoted wife and mother, a college student and on the other hand, I'm a bisexual woman who is in an open marriage. When I talk to my friends, as few as they are, I can't really be myself. I feel like I'm putting on an act. It's hard when I hear people talk about how bisexual people can't make up their mind. I've heard people say bisexuals just need to pick a sex and stick with it. Believe me, we would if we could. It's not easy being attracted to both sexes. For me, I wouldn't have it any other way. Although it's hard, I love myself as I am and wouldn't change. Being bisexual isn't something you can turn off and on like a switch. It's as deeply a part of your genetic makeup as eye color. There have been many times in the last few years that I have wished it away as hard as I could.
The other thing being bisexual has taught me is the value of loving and accepting myself. Okay, really it was my husband who taught me that but it was a result of being bi. I've learned that I can't stuff myself into a cookie cutter mold of what I think the perfect wife and mother is. The day I realized I was bi was also the day I took all of those preconceived notions and threw them straight out the window. Not that it was instantaneous, it was a long, difficult process of soul-searching and self-discovery. It was so hard to realize I was never going to be the woman I imagined I would be when I was growing up. I had to take everything I believed and shatter it. My image of self shifted. I'm still a great mom and wife like I always wanted. I'm still the person I worked really hard to be. I'm just a slightly different person and that's okay with me.