ASK MISS BLISS – HOW DO I TELL MY FRIENDS THAT MY HUSBAND AND I HAVE A GIRLFRIEND?

by Miss Bliss

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Hi, Miss Bliss,

I have a question on how to deal with explaining my lifestyle to friends.  I am only out to a few of my friends as bisexual.   And it’s not something I want to tell everyone I come across, because I feel although it is an important part of who I am, it is not the only defining part of who I am.

I am happily married and bi and my husband and I have a girlfriend that comes to visit us a couple times a year. Not only is she our lover but she is one of my closest and dearest friends. So it is more than just physical.

I guess my question is what is the best way to explain this to another friend?

Usually, this is how the conversation goes when the question comes up.
“So what’s up with you and Rachel? You seem pretty close.”
“She’s my long distance girlfriend.”
“How does your husband feel about that?”
“She is his girlfriend, too.”
The usual response to this is a look of shock and a “eeew”, or “Oh, I don’t do group sex.”

Now I’m trying to avoid these hurtful responses because what we have is more than sex. It’s beautiful. I’ve never been closer to two other people in my entire life. I love them both dearly.  But I don’t know how to disarm the “eeew, that’s creepy” look from friends that inquire.

Any advice will help.
Thank you, Bliss.

XOXO,
SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS TO THE “EEEWWS”

 

Dearest Searching,

You and your husband are truly lucky to have a long-term friend and lover.  It is also wise that you choose who to share this information with carefully, as there are many people out there who are currently unable to understand your unique relationship.

I do know that it takes strength to come out to close friends, and it hurts when those friends do not react supportively.  Some bi-girls are so pained by their friends’ reactions that they stop coming out altogether and may even stop identifying as “bisexual” in an attempt to protect themselves from future hurt.

So, the question is, how do we frame the conversation so our straight friends understand and can react supportively?

To answer this question, we must first look at why our friends usually react with an “eeeww.”  When we know the underlying beliefs that make them fear bisexuals and complex relationships, we can find better words to explain our subculture for what it truly is:  loving, ethical and – (often surprisingly) – normal.

1.  THE PROBLEM:  THEY ASSUME YOU USE WOMEN FOR YOUR MAN’S PLEASURE.
If your friend is a girl, there is a high chance that she is freaked out by your relationship because it implies that you will “use” another woman to fulfill your man’s fantasy of a threesome.  In her mind, no woman would “voluntarily” sleep or date a couple because there is no potential for a “real” relationship.

THE SOLUTION:  STRESS HOW EGALITARIAN YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS BETWEEN ALL THREE PEOPLE
Because it is so hard for some people to find even one person to love, it seems shocking that three people could all love one another equally.  Stress to your friend that you and your man both love your lover equally and she loves both of you.  Explain that there are never any games and she is not trying to “steal your man.”  Instead, you have learned to appreciate your primary relationship because it is the love that you share with your husband that makes her attracted to you both.  Plus, because you have a stable relationship, you and your man do not bring any drama into your lover’s life; instead, you use your love to shower her in joy, kindness, and adoration.  Since your friend will be surprised by all of this, acknowledge how surprised you were to learn that this kind of relationship was possible and actually easy!  The more you remember your own suspicions of threesomes and group sex before you discovered your bisexuality, the easier it will be for your friend to feel safe and understood.

2.  THE PROBLEM:  THEY ASSUME YOU HAVE NO BOUNDARIES AND ARE A SLUT.
When you tell a friend about you and your husband’s female lover, she may think that you are a slut and this is your way of “testing the waters” with her.

THE SOLUTION:  TELL HER YOU ARE NOT HITTING ON HER AND ARE VERY PICKY WHEN IT COMES TO LOVERS.
Before you start telling her about your lover, first make it known that you are not coming out to hit on her.   Tell her she is a very dear friend to you and compassionate enough to share this private matter with.  Explain right off the bat that you are very picky when it comes to female lovers, and would never embark on any group situation unless all three individuals connected emotionally and physically.  When you do tell her about your lover, say that you are shocked that you found someone who you and your man connect with so deeply.  Girls are funny creatures; even the straightest girls will be sad that you are NOT hitting on her when you explain you are “picky.”  You never know, the girl who might have said “ewww” in the past may just start thinking, “Why doesn’t she like me?”

3.  THE PROBLEM:  THEY ASSUME SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOUR PRIMARY RELATIONSHIP
When hearing you and your man have a lover, some may assume there is a problem in your marriage.  Either you or he cannot commit, are no longer in love, or are not sexually compatible.

THE SOLUTION:  EXPLAIN IF THERE WERE SOMETHING WRONG, YOU WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO SHARE A LOVER LONG-TERM
A solid two-person relationship takes a lot of communication to work.  A solid three-person relationship needs even more communication, care and work to last long term.  Just tell your friend that in a study by Lisa Diamond, M.A. on sexual fluidity it was the bisexual women who were more likely over time to have a successful relationship.  “Why,” your friend will ask.  And you will say, “Because bi-girls seemed to have better communication skills with their partners than their straight or lesbian sisters.”  If you and your man have a long-term lover, this is a sign of something right between you.  No woman is going to date a couple if they are fighting, detached or out-of-sync.  It is the calm and quiet love that you share, full of honesty and respect, that is attractive to a third and makes the relationship last.

4.  THE PROBLEM:  THEY ARE IGNORANT ABOUT BISEXUALITY AND GROUP RELATIONSHIPS, SO THEY ASSUME YOU PARTICIPATE IN A “PORNOGRAPHIC” LIFESTYLE OR ARE A “SWINGER”.
Straight friends usually have negative stereotypes about bisexual culture because all they have been exposed to is pornography or “lifestyle” swingers.   In both pornography and swinging, the focus is on hook-ups, not love or relationships.  Partners do not need to have any emotional connection to have sex, so the straight world assumes that group sex (especially bisexual sex) is loveless, anonymous, dirty, and abusive.

THE SOLUTION:  EXPLAIN THAT YOU HAVE A LOVING, HONEST, EMOTIONAL RELATIONSHIP SHARED BETWEEN THREE PEOPLE.
Let your friend know that pornography does not reflect how you live your life.  Unlike porn or swingers, you do not have casual hook-ups that are emotionally meaningless.  Your love affair is based on a deep, intimate friendship and the sexual connection is an extension of it. Let your friend know that you are telling her about your relationship to contradict these ridiculous stereotypes.  Say that the reason why your relationship has lasted is because of the deep emotional ties the three of you share.  Anyone who has participated in a group relationship knows that what porn can never capture is the sweet innocent joy of sharing love between three people.

5.  THE PROBLEM:  GOING DOWN ON A GIRL IS JUST GROSS
Some straight friends react with an “eeww” just thinking about a girl going down on another girl. “Lesbian sex” can be a terrifying for some straight girls who suddenly think of “fish smell” and other silly vagina-shame thoughts.

THE SOLUTION:  LET HER KNOW HOW SURPRISED YOU WERE TO DISCOVER HOW AMAZING GIRLS ARE TO MAKE LOVE TO
Almost all bi women have experienced a time in their life where they wondered if they could really go down on a girl.  Remember what it was like to have that fear and be compassionate for your straight friend.  Tell her about your fears before your first time: did you worry about being able to make her climax?  Did you worry her taste would be sour?  Then, let her know how wonderful it was to get beyond your fears and love a woman.  Let her know how empowering it was to make a girl quiver and jump with just your tongue.  Tell her how surprised you were by how wonderful she tasted and how you could have stayed between her legs all night long.  Lead by example, I say.  The more you are proud of your life and your loves, the easier it will be for your friends to be proud of you, too.

REMEMBER:  IT IS ONLY THROUGH KNOWING PEOPLE WHO HAVE SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIPS WITH MULTIPLE PARTNERS THAT WE WILL COMBAT STEREOTYPES THAT LEAD TO THE “EEEWW”.

Not all friends will react the way we want them to and that is okay.  Try to understand that they are your friend because they are supposed to learn from you.  Try not to be hurt when their fear prompts ignorant responses from them.  Be proud of who you are and they will come around.  They always do.

XOXOXOXOXO
BLISS WARRIOR
******************
DEAREST READERS, SO SORRY I HAVE NOT POSTED ALL LAST WEEK.  I HAD AN AMAZING TIME IN NEW YORK AND A WONDERFUL NYC BRUNCH THAT I WILL WRITE ABOUT SOON, BUT ON MY LAST DAY THERE, I GOT A HORRIBLE CASE OF THE FLU.  THIS FORCED ME TO STAY LONGER THAN I HAD PLANNED AND I ONLY GOT BACK TO LA THIS WEEKEND.  SO PLEASE FORGIVE THE INTERRUPTION IN POSTS.  I AM PLEASED TO REPORT THAT I AM HEALTHY AND HAPPILY RECOVERED.  I HOPE YOU ALL HAD A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING AND LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING ALL ABOUT YOUR HOLIDAY PLANS.  XOXOXOXO BLISS WARRIOR
******************
IF YOU ENJOYED READING THIS BLOG, YOU MAY ENJOY READING:
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