Defending the Raven

Bisexual. Married. Man. Open. Read On.

Advice From A Sex Columnist

For those of you who are in the New York City area and read Time Out New You you probably know the name Jamie Buffalino (if you read Entertainment Weekly you might have happened upon it as well). He writes a weekly sex advice column called Get Naked. It’s usually the first thing SR and I both read each week.

Just after things came out with SR at the end of the summer in 2004 I wrote him a letter about it and wanted to get his thoughts. Imagine my surprise when the following week my letter was the entire feature of his column when he usually does 2 or 3 questions a week. I don’t know what made me think of it this morning, but I went to Time Out’s website to see if I could find the article in the archives, and there it was. Very interesting to read because in the 2+ years since I think the themes he brings up are ones that I’ve mentioned lots and lots of times. Thought I’d share it.

Q: I’m not sure I have so much of a question but a story to share—one that I think you’ll find interesting in the post–Jim McGreevey era. I recently (two days ago) admitted to my wife that I was bisexual and that I had cheated on her with men in the last six months. The bisexual part was not a surprise to her, because it has come up in the past with her finding online porn and the like. Of course, the anger and hurt of the cheating took over and was the focus of our first talk. However, on the second night, after exchanging e-mails from work throughout the day, we were able to talk through everything more. She has said that she doesn’t mind that I was with another man, it’s that she didn’t know about it. She also admitted that she has sexual feelings for women as well, ones that she has suppressed. We have been married for four years and together for more than seven. During that time we have had what could only be classified as sitcom-cliché sex about once a month. We thought we were the model relationship when it came to open communication, but we weren’t communicating about one of the most important parts of our relationship: sex. Now that we are being completely open and honest with each other, it is like someone opened the floodgates. What we are grappling with now is all the new and exciting things that are coming to mind for both of us. My wife is also coming to terms with her own bisexuality. We both feel that our marriage will likely be healthier and stronger for the long term. I guess the question is, where do we go from here for guidance in exploring our mutual bisexuality together? How do we keep the “us” if we decide to share this other part of each other, especially if it involves sharing [sex] with other people? Doing couples therapy is already in the works, but we also wanted the guidance of a “sex therapist.” Comments from other readers would be great as well.

A: It’s official—the Post-Gay Era has arrived. For centuries, heterosexuality ruled America with an oven-mitted fist, using the power of social intolerance to corral people into cookie-cutter relationships that never allowed room for authentic sexual expression. The 1960s and ’70s finally helped us to let down our collective hair, ushering in an age of freer love and less-white-bread sex (even as the tight-assed establishment tried to beat back such change). That, in turn, led to the gay revolution of the past two decades plus, and now that the old-fashioned notions of the baby-boom generation are (at long last) riding off into the sunset, it seems our nation of metrosexuals and sexually empowered women, and gay moms and dads, are ready for a new sexual age to dawn: the Post-Gay Era. In the Post-Gay Era, there are no hard-and-fast rules for how people set up their domestic lives. The stereotypes of what it means to be gay, straight and happily married will be dashed for good, because people are giving a lubed-up middle finger to the concept that there is one American Dream for relationships. Naturally, there will still be plenty of traditional nuclear families (a mom, a dad, two and a half kids), but just past that well-tended hedgerow will be a delightful lesbian couple getting the tots off to school before heading off to their high-powered jobs. And two hedgerows hence there will be a newlywed couple who, while pursuing an active procreational sexual lifestyle, also have the occasional dalliance with one or more members of one or the other gender. I guess what I’m trying to say here is: You and your wife are living and breathing examples of how many relationships will function in the future. The natural inclination to nest with another human being, combined with the quintessentially American pursuit of individual fulfillment, has brought us to this moment in history. Ward and June Cleaver can no longer be expected to adhere to the straitlaced notions of American domesticity now that Ward has tapped into his inner homoeroticism, and June has discovered that she likes to give Ward a nice going over with a strap-on dildo.Which isn’t to say that people haven’t been living like this all along—if there’s one thing the Jim McGreeveys of the world have taught us it’s that no matter how hard you work at honing your “I’m the best little American boy in the world” act, the yearning to express your true sexuality will always win out in the end. The difference these days—or at least one day soon—is (a) People won’t be as afraid to discuss their fluid, idiosyncratic sexuality with their partners and friends, and (b) Society at large won’t be as shocked to hear about the various permutations that are taking place in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. Now that you and your wife have finally gotten to a place of truly open communication, the trick for you will be maintaining it. If having a happy, healthy marriage means inviting other people into the bedroom, then by all means do it, but make sure you set up firm ground rules (e.g., no seeing the person alone on the sly, both parties get a say in what kind of sexual activities take place) before diving in. Obviously, there are a lot of emotional risks involved when a third person enters the relationship dynamic, but if you both continue to act like the caring, thoughtful adults you’ve become recently, it sounds like you can have the kind of relationship that will set the gold standard for the years to come.

; ; ;

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January 18, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

3 Comments »

  1. I always had a pretty low opinion of Bufalino’s writing, but his answer to your question has changed that.

    Comment by Viviane | January 18, 2007 | Reply

  2. I don’t entirely disagree with you. I don’t think he says the most profound or interesting things. It’s more entertainment for the “what?!” factor of what people write in about. Sometimes I wonder if people have ever heard of the internet with some of the questions they ask and other times I wonder if people even listen to themselves sometimes. He did rise to the occasion on his answer here. It felt pretty great for us to read it because it was exactly what we were thinking.

    Comment by Mark | January 18, 2007 | Reply

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    Comment by Bill | March 16, 2007 | Reply


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