Saturday, April 29, 2006

Honest Answers

Another night with too little sleep, but this time it’s okay. KA and I spoke for hours and actually have some tangible conclusions – a rarity in our life and in this blogworld it appears. But to get to the end, we need to go back eleven years to Washington, previously described in a post “Washington – Then”.

The context of Washington was my addressing what the gay side of being bi meant. KA felt that for us to continue on together, I needed to better understand myself. So I went to Washington – eleven years ago; I went to a bar and got picked up – eleven years ago; and I spent the night with a man – sex, sleep, a full night – eleven years ago. It was a good night – not perfect, he was a strange egg at best, but a good night all the same. It must have been good – a week later I’m in a buddy booth giving a bj to a stranger – eleven years ago.

Two weeks after Washington, KA sees her new therapist who points out – not incorrectly – that whether it is with man or woman, I am cheating. It is undeniable in its simplicity and I remain totally faithful for over a decade.

Not so simple of course. I still had my fantasies which now included Washington. I cannot start to count the number of times I “came” to Washington. Can you spell suppression? After a decade of ever increasing homoerotic fantasies the pot boiled over and in the last six months I have had a measurable number of encounters with other married men.

Brad read my last post, On Being and commented, in part:
Can I just ask you one thing, Nate? Why can't you just "be" the person that you are?
I don't think your sexual orientation, whether it be straight, bi, or gay changes any of that.

I responded:
The thing is I can live with being straight or bi or gay, but it would sure help to know what I am as a starting point. When I confess to giving a mean bj, people post that's sex not love and therefore I am not really gay. Still having sex with men sure doesn't sound like straight either. I feel strangely caught between worlds.

It was nine hours ago that I wrote that answer and the inescapable fact is that I knew some of the answer eleven years ago. I write about my upcoming trip to Chicago – spending some time exploring my gay side – as much out of the bedroom as in it, but was that not what Washington was all about and did I not come away knowing that my gay side was very much alive and well.

KA and I discussed this last night and where we go from here. We are very much in love, best friends to the core and committed to an intact home for our children. We also know that one cannot really have their cake and eat it too. And I think most of all we know that unlike eleven years ago the answer is not another decade of denial waiting for the resentment to build and the next sexual explosion.

Her proposal is rather simple. She is supportive of my need to explore this side of myself, to determine the balance of my bi-sexuality - my needs. She is not supportive of an open ended open marriage. Might my exploration be measured in weeks and months – presumably – but not in years. And while this goes on she has redefined our bed. She no longer wants to be the fallback “I need sex because I am horny” toy for me. We may have still have nice evenings and end up making love, but she would like to think that I have courted her the way I fantasize about courting men.

Now I admit that I would not have suggested this – I am way too oversexed and way to selfish. I also admit that this idea is only hours old and only time will tell how it translates into reality. But I also admit it is a reasonable idea that allows me an opportunity to work on defining myself and us an opportunity to work on re-defining our marriage while allowing my wife the self-esteem she so richly deserves.

As I write this, I realize that for the first time in almost four months of blogging this may be the first time I have finally admitted without hedging to having a significant gay side. Now I can start to consider how this integrates into my life.


Brad said...


You really do have an incredible wife. I think her proposal is a good and fair one.

The committment that you have to one another is really beautiful.

bear said...

As the saying goes: acceptance is the first step? Amazing understanding you have with your wife. (This is very unconventional? Few wives would go here I think.) She must be very understanding and your communication must be at a level that is difficult to comprehend for the rest of us. This might be why you are also so easily able to accept this fact of yourself, the person you would be hurting is somewhat understanding so you are able to move forward...
I'm a little confused about the arrangement still, are you saying she is okay with you having these gay encounters in Chicago and even AFTER you come back from Chicago?
Also, help me understand your feelings towards these men, for example, after you have sex, are they still desireable and do you feel like you fall in love with them and long to spend time with them etc? It sounds like you are just scratching an "itch"...
These labels of bi/straight/gay have whatever meaning you give them I think. Perhaps you're like the opposite of me, I lust for women, and I have lust for some guys (lust meaning after we have sex I lose interest) but fall in love with other guys (love meaning I want to spoon, spend time with, have non sexual intimacy etc.) What clear cut label is that? It's obviously not clear! I guess that's the nature of "bi" :)

Ian said...

"She no longer wants to be the fallback “I need sex because I am horny” toy for me."

This one line really struck home for me. This is probably a good description of the relationship I have with my wife.

I don't know about you, but after the fact, I always end up feeling like crap for using her to fulfill my own selfish desires.

Like the song says, something's gotta give...

Ian said...
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