Navigating Different Sexual Identities - Talk About Marriage
Sex in Marriage Sexual problems are common in many relationships. This section is for discussions about sexuality. Please limit discussions to those asking for help with a problem and those offering advice. Any other threads may be deleted.

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Navigating Different Sexual Identities

Hi everyone!

I am just wondering how others may navigate their marriages when there is two distinct sexual identities in the relationship.

For example, I am a cis-gendered male individual who identifies as polysexual. My wife is a cis-gendered woman who identifies as straight.

My wife is accepting of my sexual identity and I am of hers. An issue that I have is that even though I “knew” I wasn’t straight, I didn’t fully embrace my identity until after marriage. Now, I often have thoughts about “what if’s” with what I haven’t been able to experience. I love my wife, will not cheat on her, and do not end the relationship by any means. Just looking to see what kind of conversation comes out of this and to see if I can use any of it and apply it into my own marriage.

Thank you in advance for your input!


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 10:47 AM
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Re: Navigating Different Sexual Identities

It might help you to see a therapist or an MD.
Have you had gender reassignment surgery?


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 10:55 AM
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Re: Navigating Different Sexual Identities

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayS81 View Post
Hi everyone!

I am just wondering how others may navigate their marriages when there is two distinct sexual identities in the relationship.
There are always two distinct sexual identities in any marriage.

Quote:
For example, I am a cis-gendered male individual who identifies as polysexual. My wife is a cis-gendered woman who identifies as straight.
OK.

Quote:
My wife is accepting of my sexual identity and I am of hers.
Good.

Quote:
An issue that I have is that even though I “knew” I wasn’t straight, I didn’t fully embrace my identity until after marriage.
That sounds a lot like a bait and switch to me. Good thing your wife is tolerant of such things.

Quote:
Now, I often have thoughts about “what if’s” with what I haven’t been able to experience. I love my wife, will not cheat on her, and do not end the relationship by any means. Just looking to see what kind of conversation comes out of this and to see if I can use any of it and apply it into my own marriage.
Sounds like you actually do want to cheat. What you're describing isn't any different than any straight man or woman that wonder about all the kinds of sexual experiences they could be having if they weren't in a monogamous relationship. These are normal as a passing fantasy; however it sounds like you want to actually want to bring that into your marriage.

Quote:
Thank you in advance for your input!
My advice is to be extremely grateful your wife has accepted you even though you changed your identity as far as she knew it after you married her. I'm very accepting of all kinds of gender roles and don't really care what you identify as, and will respect it. However I 100% don't buy that you didn't know this before you married your wife. You're an adult, you knew. And if you didn't know, you didn't do the kind of work required to know yourself before you allow somebody else to bet their life on you.

So my advice is to be honest with your wife, but to shut down any conversation about you "exploring" outside the marriage unless you're willing to throw what you have aside. If you are, then just be honest about that, and let her get out of this marriage with as little long drawn-out drama as possible.

Your chance to "explore" was pre-marriage, just like everybody else that buys into the monogamy gig, and you knew it. So either live up to your commitments, or don't.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Navigating Different Sexual Identities

Thank you for your reply. There were many reasons I did not accept my identity before my marriage - a lot to do with family perceptions, guilt, etcetera. In fact I probably would have gone the rest of my life rejecting it if it wasn’t for my wife who is the one who initiated the conversation and asked. I have thanked her a million times over for providing a safe space for me to be who I am. I can understand how it appears as a bait and switch, however being polysexual does mean I am sexually/romantically attracted to multiple genders. So I am very much still both of those things with my wife.

I am actually 100% committed to my marriage. I am sorry if it came across as if I am not. I just put this out here to see where the conversation goes and what people have to say.

I truly thank you for your input and thoughts!


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 11:42 AM
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Re: Navigating Different Sexual Identities

Like Marduk said, it really isn't any different than anyone else in a marriage. Just because you may be attracted to guys, doesn't mean you need to be with one, or that you are justified in being with one.

I may like something other than my wife, but it doesn't mean that makes it ok.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 12:41 PM
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Re: Navigating Different Sexual Identities

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayS81 View Post
Thank you for your reply. There were many reasons I did not accept my identity before my marriage - a lot to do with family perceptions, guilt, etcetera. In fact I probably would have gone the rest of my life rejecting it if it wasn’t for my wife who is the one who initiated the conversation and asked. I have thanked her a million times over for providing a safe space for me to be who I am. I can understand how it appears as a bait and switch, however being polysexual does mean I am sexually/romantically attracted to multiple genders. So I am very much still both of those things with my wife.
Listen man, I'm not here to create conflict or to attack you. I'm glad you both understand you better and accept you more. That's great.

My point is to keep it firmly in mind that your sexual identity is something you should know firmly before marriage, and she's kinda been sold a polysexual guy when she thought she was marrying a straight guy. And your reasons are understandable - guilt and family and whatnot... but all of that was on you to figure out in the first place prior to marriage, and you didn't. She's cool with it, which is a good thing, but remember that she hasn't gotten from you what she was expecting. So be super grateful and respectful in response.

Quote:
I am actually 100% committed to my marriage. I am sorry if it came across as if I am not. I just put this out here to see where the conversation goes and what people have to say.
Ok so you're romantically and sexually into dudes as well as girls. Good. What is it exactly that you want to bring into your marriage then? Another dude? Porn? Fantasy? Toys?

I guess I'm asking what is it that you want here, man?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 01:05 PM
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Re: Navigating Different Sexual Identities

So she is a female and you are a male who is also into men.
Faithfulness applies to everyone no matter what or who you are attracted to. So of you are intending to be a faithful man then you need to focus on her and stop thinking about others. Its irrelevant who you are sexually attracted to, you are married to a women. Period. Its worrying that you are already wondering if you have missed out, that doesn't bode well to be honest.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 01:10 PM
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Re: Navigating Different Sexual Identities

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayS81 View Post
Thank you for your reply. There were many reasons I did not accept my identity before my marriage - a lot to do with family perceptions, guilt, etcetera. In fact I probably would have gone the rest of my life rejecting it if it wasn’t for my wife who is the one who initiated the conversation and asked. I have thanked her a million times over for providing a safe space for me to be who I am. I can understand how it appears as a bait and switch, however being polysexual does mean I am sexually/romantically attracted to multiple genders. So I am very much still both of those things with my wife.

I am actually 100% committed to my marriage. I am sorry if it came across as if I am not. I just put this out here to see where the conversation goes and what people have to say.

I truly thank you for your input and thoughts!


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To be honest there aren't 'multiple genders', that's all in most peoples minds but of course its not PC to say that......
Unless you make that decision to be faithful and stop fantasising about others, maybe even watching porn that stokes your fantasies, the marriage will never last. Hence I am not sure why you are asking. Ifyou really don't think you can be faithful long term then end it now and let her move on.

Is it possible that you are gay? If so then the marriage is sadly doomed. If you are more attracted to men than women you need to tell your wife and see where the two of you go from here.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 01:10 PM
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Re: Navigating Different Sexual Identities

As someone who unknowingly married a gay man, I'd say you should get yourself into therapy as soon as possible. My STBXH loves me, a lot in fact, and is devastated that I've left him and am ending our marriage. None of those facts make him straight.

By all accounts he seemed very attracted to me when we first got together and married. We had a very frequent sex life...not the most adventurous but we connected in a way that married people are supposed to so I thought all was good. Until the day I found him looking for men to have sex with on the down low.

He thought it was just a curiosity, just something he wanted to explore but that he still loved and wanted me. Turns out the more he "explored" this world (without my knowledge) the less and less attracted he became to me until he could not perform with me anymore and started actually hiding from me at night so I wouldn't ask for sex. Because, as therapy has finally revealed years later, he is not, in fact, bisexual, he is gay.

So please, I implore you, if you're having these thoughts now, please get some therapy to work them out to determine how you really feel about all of it. Because it will hurt your wife SO much more if you make this determination years from now instead of now as it's just coming up for you.

If you determine that you are polysexual you'll have to decide if you can give up all the other stuff except for straight sex with your wife. If you can't, it's best to let her go now so she can find someone who can.

I wish you good luck.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 01:46 PM
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Re: Navigating Different Sexual Identities

@JayS81,

Just to clarify for the peanut gallery and to make sure we are understanding each other, a cis-gender male is a person who is biologically a male who also identifies as male, a cis-gender female is a person who is biologically a female who also identifies as female, straight is a person who is both sexual and romantic with the opposite gender, and polysexual is sexually attracted to two or more genders but not all (versus pansexual which is not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity (gender blind)...or bisexual which is sexually attracted not exclusively to people of one particular gender; attracted to both men and women).

I bring this up because as I understand it, you aren't transgender or transsexual--you're a dude, and you are attracted to multiple genders (males, non-binary, and females) but not all of them. So now that we have that definition stuff straight, let's proceed!

You wrote:
Quote:
An issue that I have is that even though I “knew” I wasn’t straight, I didn’t fully embrace my identity until after marriage. Now, I often have thoughts about “what if’s” with what I haven’t been able to experience. I love my wife, will not cheat on her, and do not end the relationship by any means. Just looking to see what kind of conversation comes out of this and to see if I can use any of it and apply it into my own marriage.
I myself identify as bisexual, in that I love men for their manly, masculinity...and I love women for their soft, femininity. During my younger days I have been with both, and to me it seems more like I fall in love with the person they are inside their physical bod, and then whatever their physical may be, I enjoy that. BUT long ago (like after college but before getting married) I did make the conscientious choice to choose males as my long-term partners and life a style that was "straight" on the exterior. Now I've been with men exclusively for decades but I still find female humans very beautiful and soft and just lovely...very attractive...but I don't dwell on it or even come close to infidelity even in my thoughts because I appreciate it and then let it go.

For example, I am in love with and ecstatically married to my Beloved Hubby. I would never, ever jeapordize that in any way just for a "what if" experience. When I currently find a female person attractive, I don't cling to it, wallow in it, build resentment that I "can't" go be with her, etc. Nope, I comment "Wow those are some serious curves! I love that!" and he agrees with me and we laugh and carry on with OUR LIVES. See, I recognize that * I * have made the choice to make vows to him, to commit to him, and be act in a sexual way WITH HIM AND ONLY HIM. It's not mine to give away to someone else anymore--it's his to keep! So I'm not resentful and going down the "what if" path, because * I * made the choice!!! I decided it and by goodness I'm honoring my promise!!

What I do find enjoyable, though, is that we can see the same beautiful woman and both like her. We share that. We can see a guy and he maybe has a cute butt, yet neither one of us really spends a ton of time on that. LOL We share that too! In some ways, some of our fantasies are fairly similar so we share that too. Instead of feeling like we are "lacking" something because I have the capacity to love either/or...we've turned it into something we share WITH EACH OTHER. Make sense? It's exclusive to him, but I get what he means when he says ___ or ___ turns him on.

So I would recommend that instead of dwelling on the experiences you've missed, or the "What ifs," that instead you dwell on what you and your wife might have in common, what you might feel in common, what may turn you both on, what you share...and focus on building that stronger. That way, your connection with your spouse doesn't suffer AND you aren't slowing filling with resentment. You CHOSE to make vows with her. You CHOSE to be with a female. Okay...make the most out of enjoying that sexuality! Honor your promises and take personal responsibility that you chose it so that means it's not yours to give away anymore. You volunteered to give all your sexual expression to her, so make the most of THAT rather than worrying about what you may or may not have "missed."


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My definition of infidelity is not "How far can I go before I cross the line?" My definition of infidelity is "giving anything less than 100% of your affection, loyalty, and companionship to your spouse."
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 05:31 PM
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Re: Navigating Different Sexual Identities

In most marriages, people still have some level of desire / attraction to others of their preferred gender. Unless there is some agreement (usually not) they do should not act on those desires.

So, being bisexual doesn't change that, it just means that there are some additional people your are attracted to. Their being the same gender doesn't change the situation .

OTOH, if you are more attracted to men than you are to women, that is a different story, and might indicate that you should end the marriage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JayS81 View Post
Hi everyone!

I am just wondering how others may navigate their marriages when there is two distinct sexual identities in the relationship.

For example, I am a cis-gendered male individual who identifies as polysexual. My wife is a cis-gendered woman who identifies as straight.

My wife is accepting of my sexual identity and I am of hers. An issue that I have is that even though I “knew” I wasn’t straight, I didn’t fully embrace my identity until after marriage. Now, I often have thoughts about “what if’s” with what I haven’t been able to experience. I love my wife, will not cheat on her, and do not end the relationship by any means. Just looking to see what kind of conversation comes out of this and to see if I can use any of it and apply it into my own marriage.

Thank you in advance for your input!


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 07:00 PM
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Re: Navigating Different Sexual Identities

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In most marriages, people still have some level of desire / attraction to others of their preferred gender. Unless there is some agreement (usually not) they do should not act on those desires.

So, being bisexual doesn't change that, it just means that there are some additional people your are attracted to. Their being the same gender doesn't change the situation .

OTOH, if you are more attracted to men than you are to women, that is a different story, and might indicate that you should end the marriage.
Yeah--we get married and commit. We don't go blind.


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My definition of infidelity is not "How far can I go before I cross the line?" My definition of infidelity is "giving anything less than 100% of your affection, loyalty, and companionship to your spouse."
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 09:41 PM
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Re: Navigating Different Sexual Identities

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Yeah--we get married and commit. We don't go blind.
Just like the rest of us.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 01:04 PM
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Re: Navigating Different Sexual Identities

Speaking as a Moderator:

Gender discussions are a thread jack.

Start a new thread (or continue in the old one) rather than posting it here.

One and only warning on this.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 01:54 PM
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Re: Navigating Different Sexual Identities

One concern I have is that it will be very easy for you to fall into the "grass is greener" trap when you have tough times in your marriage. It is very likely that when you are stressed, your thoughts might drift to thinking that all your relationship problems would be solved if you were with a man. That may or may not be true, but that fantasy can a powerful escapism mechanism from daily struggles.
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