Dr. Darcy on Dating a Bi Woman

Dr. Darcy answers the difficult questions

Dear Darcy,
I’ve been seeing a woman for almost six months. Before me, she had only been with men. She says she’s bi and that she falls in love with a person, not a gender. Our relationship is very good and she tells me that she’s more fulfilled than she ever was with a guy. Here’s the thing: She says she misses having sex with men, and she asked me if she can be with men while she’s dating me. So my question is, can a bi woman ever be completely satisfied sexually by a woman?

Date a bisexual and risk her leaving you for either a man or a woman. Date a lesbian and presumably she’ll only leave you for a woman. Essentially, ruling out bisexuals is one way of limiting the competition to one gender. It does not assure you, however, that your relationship will last happily ever after, nor does it assure you that your partner will always be faithful. All it provides you is the illusion of control over fear of abandonment.

Your girlfriend is asking you to agree to having an open relationship. I’m presuming she hasn’t asked you how you might be able to help fulfill her needs, or sought to identify a solution within the context of your committed relationship. My antenna is up and it’s telling me that there’s more to her needs than simply a penis. I won’t attempt to guess at why she’s asking to open the boundaries of your relationship, but I suspect that if it were simply a physical need, she’d seek out a more creative solution that involves you in the bottom line.

I’ve worked with couples who’ve had successful open relationships, but none of them were scenarios in which one partner strong-arms the other into accepting such an arrangement for fear of being dumped. I suggest that the two of you find a couple’s therapist, preferably one who works with members of the LGBT community, and see if your partner is willing to explore additional reasons why she may find herself unfulfilled, and ways in which she can meet her sexual needs within your relationship. If she refuses to see a therapist, then my suggestion would be to say, “Bi bi, girlfriend.”

E-mail questions to dr.darcysmith@gmail.com or call 212-604-0144

Dr. Darcy Smith received her Masters degree from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from New York University. She has been a practicing social worker for over 10 years and is in private practice in both New York City and New Jersey.

*By submitting questions, the writer acknowledges that she has no rights of confidentiality and that her question or a version thereof may be printed in GO Magazine.  Correspondence between Dr. Darcy Smith and a writer does not constitute a therapeutic relationship and such a relationship and the rights/privileges associated with such can only be established through a scheduled, in-person session.

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