Wife is furious her husband used to sleep with his gay friend, assumes he must be cheating and the biphobia is real
A woman is furious that her new husband didn’t tell her that he used to sleep with his gay friend, and has taken it as proof that he is cheating on her, revealing some underlying biphobia.
The anonymous woman wrote to Slate’s sex advice column, asking if she was wrong to be angry that her husband kept his historical sex life a secret, but ended up revealing some underlying prejudice against bisexuality.
Asking for advice from pornographer Stoya and journalist Rich Juzwiak, she wrote: “My husband ‘Matt’ and I have been married for just more than eight months. We recently took a weekend trip with a group of college friends for another wedding.
“After one too many drinks, a friend began to reminisce about how Matt and his best friend “Will” (who is gay) would get drunk and have regular sexual encounters—both during and for years after college.”
She said that she had no idea until that point, but everyone else seemed to know. When she confronted her husband about it he confirmed that it was true, and added that he couldn’t “remember exactly when it ended”.
She continued: “Do I have the right to be upset that my husband chose to keep this from his me, his wife? We have an extremely open and honest relationship.
“I have told him about all of my past relationships. I always thought I could expect the same. Does he not trust me?
“I am now wondering what else he is hiding from me and exactly ‘when’ this sexual relationship stopped, or dare I say, if it has stopped at all.”
Responding, Stoya said she first wanted to “validate this woman’s surprise”, as it is always unsettling to find out something previously unknown about a partner “regardless of whether we’re talking sexual exploits or a talent for headstands”.
But she and Rich then pointed out some of the likely subconscious prejudice shown by the woman’s reaction.
Stoya said: “Her reaction subtly perpetuates stigma, specifically bisexual stigma, with her ‘Dare I say, if it has stopped at all.’
“It’s giving me a throwback vibe to the late ’90s when it felt like everyone was telling people to pick a side.”
She added: “Four years of hookups with one other guy does not a homosexual make.
“And bisexual people are perfectly capable of committing to a single person of one gender, if he is in fact roughly there in the spectrum. He might even be totally hetero aside from his (presumably beautiful) moments with Will.”
Rich said: “That Matt completely owned up to it when confronted should reaffirm his commitment to open communication.
“Given her reaction, she could be holding prejudice that she doesn’t even realize, and perhaps revealed something during their relationship that made him think twice about offering information about him and Will freely.”
The pair advised that the woman affirm that she accepts her husband so that he will feel more comfortable to confide in her about his sexuality in the future, as there is no evidence that he is cheating on her.
While biphobia and bi-erasure can affect relationships, it also has very real consequences for the health of bisexual people.
Sexuality and gender minority researcher Sabra Katz-Wise, PhD, said that although all LGBT+ people suffer from “minority stress”, which contributes to poor health, bisexual people experience “double discrimination” because of biphobia and bi-erasure.