Questions & Answers

If I’m married and monogamous, why does it matter that I’m bisexual?

Relationship status does not change a person’s sexuality.  While it may be more obvious to others that someone is bi if he or she is actively dating men and women, that is most certainly not a requirement of bisexuality.  Bisexuality, like all sexuality, is about much more than what one does with one’s genitals.  Sexuality is an identity and a way of interacting with the world, not a sexual practice.

Bisexuality manifests itself on many levels in an individual, most of which are not affected by marital status or monogamy.  While it is can be difficult to quantify something like identity, there is value in trying.  The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid, for example, seeks to address the broadness of a person’s sexuality by breaking it down into: Sexual Attraction, Sexual Behavior, Sexual Fantasies, Emotional Preference, Social Preference, Lifestyle Preference, and Self Identification.  While a monogamous marriage would strictly limit a person’s current sexual behavior, it would not affect a person’s attractions, fantasies, emotional preferences, social preferences, lifestyle preference, nor would it have to change a person’s self identification.  In this example, out of 7 measures of sexuality, only 1 would necessarily be affected by monogamous marriage.


The answer depends on what "matter" means to the person asking the question.

I'm married, monogamous, and bisexual. Because I married a man, I'm invisible. Everyone I meet is going to assume I'm straight. That limits the awkward questions people can ask me in person.

But it also isolates me from other bisexual people and makes me feel lonely. I don't have an in-person community to go to for support.

So when it comes to my happiness and my feeling of being included somewhere, of having a community, it does matter. Because I'm not actually straight, I feel isolated and left out, even in a crowd of couples. My sexual identity matters when it comes to my emotional health. I need things straight people don't need because they already have them. I need things gay and lesbian people don't need because they already have them. Visibility and community.

Being bisexual, married, and monogamous affects my life, even though I have a wonderful husband and physical security.


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