Sex Q&A: Bisexual Attraction

Sex Q&A: Bisexual Attraction 1

Reader and commenter Joe Caveman (who asked to use his commenting name rather than being anonymous) has some questions about bisexual attraction and when/if to discuss it with a woman he’s dating.

Hello! I’ve been following your site for a few years, and I appreciate your open-minded, yet principled exploration of sexual topics. This question is for both of you, but SC’s perspective might be especially helpful. Feel free to include this or a pared-down version of it in a Q&A post.

When and how should I come out to a significant other about being bisexual? For example: casually, after a couple of dates? Deliberately, soon before engagement? Whenever a fitting occasion arises, even if it’s not until five years into our marriage?

Perhaps a little more information would be helpful. I’m not out of the closet to anyone close enough to me to know my real name. Also, I’m not “struggling” with homosexuality, in the sense that I’m pretty sure I could feel sexually satisfied by heterosexual, monogamous marriage. I’m not tempted by extramarital homosexual desires any more than I’m tempted by extramarital heterosexual desires.

For that reason, I don’t think my bisexuality should actually matter very much to a prospective spouse. On the other hand, one of the women who I’ve dated spontaneously suggested that she wouldn’t date a bisexual person, and one of my sisters recently said something similar.

Is there a right time to come out to your significant other? Is there a right way? If your significant other is bisexual, would it be important for you to know that? If so, then why?

I’d appreciate your insight into any of these questions.

El Fury writes: We’ve received variations on this question before, and it’s great that Joe is willing to kick off this discussion publicly. The Bible clearly forbids homosexual sexual activity, so we’re going to focus on Joe’s question about same-sex attraction.

The Bible doesn’t really say much about attraction itself, which is mostly involuntary. We have very little control over what we’re attracted to, but we are responsible for how we act on our attractions. In the 10th Commandment God commands us not to “covet”, which has a sense beyond mere attraction or desire — to covet is to want something so much that you make plans and take action to possess it.

So, it seems to us that same-sex attraction is not a sin. See also: What Is Lust?

Sexy Corte writes: We think that the most important thing is that you are attracted and faithful to your wife. That doesn’t mean that you won’t ever find someone else attractive. That would be impossible! But, in your thoughts and your actions, you stay faithful to your wife.

This does seem like something that would be good to talk about before marriage. I wish I could tell you the right time to have that conversation. We encourage all of our readers to develop an open dialogue with their spouses about their sex life together. If you are comfortable talking about your sex life, you will have a better sex life. Open communication solves a lot of problems in relationships and if you develop that practice then I think you will be able to discuss your attraction to both men and women.

To which Joe replied:

Yesterday, I broached the topic with my girlfriend of two months. It was during an especially personal conversation in which we explicitly decided to discuss things that we needed to know about the other person and things we needed to share about ourselves.

I gave her most of the details that I gave you, and she took it very well. She said that it doesn’t change anything, and she thanked me for trusting her enough to share it with her.

I appreciate your encouragement. Your measured reaction helped give me the confidence to have the conversation.

My girlfriend did express one concern about my bisexuality. I’ve wavered on the sinfulness of homosexuality in the past, and she wanted to know what would happen if, at some point in the future, I decided that it wasn’t sinful. I explained to her that I still wouldn’t date men, because:

  1. If I became romantically involved with a man and then changed my mind again, then extricating myself from that relationship would be emotionally damaging to myself and him.
  2. Most of my family strongly disapproves of same-sex relationships, so dating a man would needlessly sow discord among my family.
  3. Eliminating men from my dating pool only marginally affects its size. There are a lot more opposite-sex-attracted women than same-sex-attracted men.

My girlfriend was satisfied by my reasoning, and there hasn’t been any tension regarding the subject since then. In fact, as I alluded to in my last email, the experience as a whole probably improved our relationship, due to the trust and communication that it established.

We love seeing God work, and we pray for wisdom as we search for God’s will in our lives and marriages.

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    1. Thank you!

      In case you or anyone else is curious: she and I have been together for over six months, now, and we’re still going strong.

  1. Thanks again for having this discussion with me.

    You may be interested to know: a couple of months after the conversation that this post documents, I told her about MCS. Out of prudence, we didn’t discuss the contents of the site in detail, but she did say that (to paraphrase) she found it to be an encouraging demonstration of how romantic relationships can be fun, intimate, and Godly.

    The only specific post that either of us mentioned was “Four Levels of Sexual Interest”, which sparked an important conversation between us.

  2. Scripture says: “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13)

    You nor I nor anyone gets to “decide” whether homosexuality is sinful or not. God’s word is extremely clear on it, and if we waver or change our minds, it is because we want to indulge our sinful desires. Either Christ is your Lord and you submit your desires to his, or he isn’t and you do as you want. If you do not have it extremely clear that God forbids homosexuality (as he does), all your paltry, paper-thin “reasons” for not indulging will be swept away like chaff in the wind once you’re bored with your marriage and tempted by a hot guy. I would tell your girlfriend to be well warned, but as I don’t know her, I hope and pray for both your sakes you decide to be serious about being a disciple of Jesus and killing sin.

    1. You nor I nor anyone gets to “decide” whether homosexuality is sinful or not.

      I think the distinction we’re making is between homosexual attraction and homosexual behavior. Being tempted isn’t a sin. Jesus was tempted, but never sinned.

      1. True, but there is a lot of evidence for caution here. First, this poster identifies himself by his sin pattern (“I am bisexual”), which is an utterly worldly pattern, rather than saying “I am tempted by attraction to men.” Secondly, he clearly does not have a commitment to view his temptation biblically as a temptation to something God clearly calls sin. He is leaving himself open to change his mind about it in the future, which demonstrates he does not believe in the authority of God’s word. He gives totally fleshly reasons for why he supposedly wouldn’t give into temptation in the future, such as his parents disapproving. When the strong flood waters of temptation come in, those reasons will be swept away like nothing (I am speaking from personal experience). Finally, I’d want to know if the source of his homosexual attraction is a current or past porn addiction, as homosexuality and bisexuality often seem to be linked to that (just speculating, but if he was a friend confiding in me I’d ask him about that).

    2. For the sake of brevity, I’ll only respond to a few of your points.

      First, I’ll clarify that my girlfriend’s hypothetical scenario assumes that I’m single. I’ve never wavered on the sinfulness of adultery. As I said in my original message to MCS, *”I’m not tempted by extramarital homosexual desires any more than I’m tempted by extramarital heterosexual desires”*.

      Second, you’re reading things into my statements. I used “decided that X” as shorthand for “changed my mind to the belief that X”, not to imply that my belief causes X to be right or wrong. Also, describing myself as “bisexual” is morally/affectively neutral; it doesn’t condone anything.

      Speaking of which: you’re conflating attraction with behavior, even after El Fury underscored the distinction. Bisexual attraction, which is what El Fury and I have meant whenever we’ve used the word “bisexual”, is not a sin pattern.

      Finally, the first two reasons that I provided for avoiding homosexual relationships are not shallow or worldly. (The third one wasn’t intended to stand on its own.) As a matter of principle, I take the mental and relational well-being of those around me seriously. That’s been sufficient to resist sexual temptations in the past, even when I didn’t feel convicted by direct scriptural evidence.

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