<<<Many thanks to Mark for contributing to our Alternate Paths Blog>>>

Bisexuality is a very complex sexual orientation and people are bisexual in many different ways. Two examples of these differences are sequential bisexuals and concurrent bisexuals.  Sequential bisexuals are usually perfectly happy with whatever gender they are with at the moment.  They will sometimes say they fall in love with the person not their gender.  Sequential bisexuals will usually find it easier to fit into the model of traditional monogamous relationships than concurrent bisexuals. When the sequential bisexual ends a relationship they are then are open to any gender for the next relationship.

Concurrent bisexuals on the other hand often have needs from more than one gender at the same time. Concurrent bisexuals may have an emotional, spiritual, soulmate love for their spouse/ partner but at the same time have sexual needs involving another gender. Even within concurrent bisexuals there are variations.  Some need everything; spiritual, emotional and sexual from more than one gender; some get different aspects of their sexual or relationship needs met by different genders.

Our degree of monogamy or non-monogamy is a separate but interrelated dimension to our sexuality and when that aspect does not align with one’s sexuality a hierarchy of needs is established.   In other words, concurrent bisexuals might have needs from more than one gender but their commitment to monogamy may be more important.  They are monogamous even at the expense of unmet personal sexual needs.  In other cases, the sexual needs are greater even as they struggle with their degrees of monogamy.  It is beyond the scope of this article but this dynamic is further complicated by the extent that monogamy is a core personality trait in some people and a learned, “this is what society told me”, trait in others. This plays a huge part in the wide variations in what works and what does not in a concurrent bisexual’s relationship and why it can take such a long time to figure things out.

Being a concurrent bisexual and seeking to be non-monogamous is complicated and difficult to explain.
There is a real pull toward satisfying our needs that is impossible to describe to those who are not living it.  In my case, I was told by society that who I am as a concurrent bisexual was not an acceptable model for life. I was told by everyone—“You can’t do that, it breaks the rules.”  So I stuffed my bisexuality in the closet and did what I was “supposed to do.”  For many of us this simply does not work.  I am fortunate I figured it out before the angst killed me.

I’m sorry my wife was an innocent bystander, caught in the middle of this huge mistake made by our society. However, I am lucky.  As the years have gone by, she has come to love me for who I really am. This doesn’t happen for everyone but our support groups exist to help others find a way to make their mixed-orientation marriages work. (HOW, HUGS, MMOMW, MonMOM, Alternate Path, etc.)

Mixed-orientation marriages find success in many different ways.  Each couple is unique and your own happiness is just as possible as anyone else’s. Please know that sometimes given enough time, love and compassion by all involved, a mutual understanding can be found that leaves everyone happy. It takes time to get there and we do not know how it will end until we go on the journey.

Mark

http://livingfabulous.org/

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