What should women in open relationships looking for other women for ‘their first time’ do?
Partnered non-monogamous emerging bi women, we need to talk…
How can bi women with male partners looking for women to sleep with get their needs met without hurting anyone?
Real talk: Biphobia is a thing. There is nothing wrong with being bi and partnered with a man. There is nothing wrong with being in a non-monogamous relationship. There is nothing wrong with being in a committed non-monogamous relationship with a man and looking for a female lover (casual or serious) as well. Coming out is a process, and we all make allowances for the fact that sometimes folks new to a community mess up.
However, there are some behaviours that appear to be common from non-monogamous partnered bi women, that are really offensive and objectifying, and which many (and possibly most) of your bisexual, lesbian and queer sisters hate, and they need to stop.
They are also ineffective in getting what women say they want.
If you are an emerging bisexual women who hasn’t had a serious same-sex partner so far and are non-monogamously partnered with a man, here is some advice for you which will hopefully help you get what you are looking for without angering and objectifying your LGB sisters.
Not all bi/pan women
Not all bi women with male partners in non-monogamous relationships do these behaviours, but enough do that queer women on dating sites feel the need to put messages banning them in their own profiles, and honestly we complain to one another about it a lot.
What things should non-monogamous women partnered with men stop doing?
Disrespecting the stated wishes of monogamous women
For many women who say they are monogamous in their dating profile (the majority on most sites), interest or overtures such as swiping right, messaging, or liking from a woman who is not single feels creepy, and is ignoring what she has said in writing she consents to. Not cool.
Disregarding the consent of lesbians
Monogamy aside, for women who identify as lesbian, interest or overtures (swiping right, messaging, liking, propositions, advances) from a couple that includes a man is disrespecting her identity as a lesbian and also violating her consent. Its homophobic.
If she says she’s a lesbian, that word plainly says, no matter what porn would have you believe, that she doesn’t want to hear from or about cis men sexually. The world already has been giving her a lot of systemic discrimination and hassle about not wanting to have sex with men her whole life, so you are pressing on a pretty sore bruise. Don’t be that gal.
If you are dating solo – meaning that you are not proposing or hoping your male partner will also be having sex with your new lover – then a non-monogamous lesbian is fair to approach, if that fact is very clear in your profile and communications.
Objectifying queer women
It’s okay to be interested in queer casual sex. However, keep in mind that the demand by most women for casual sex with inexperienced partners they don’t know well is very low, whether those potential partners are men or women. Would you be interested in casual sex with a 40 year old male virgin?
On top of that there are discriminatory and offensive tropes (such as those promoted by porn) that queer/lesbian/bi women are all sexually promiscuous and indiscriminate and will hop into a threesome at the drop of a hat. As much as porn producers like this fantasy, it’s not even remotely true for most women. Unless a woman has specifically indicated that casual sex is what she is looking for, you should assume such a request will be offensive. Approaching a queer/bi/pan woman and asking her for casual sex may seem like a small thing, but it is pressing on another big sore systemic discrimination bruise. It hurts.
So what should partnered women ethically looking for sex with women do?
How do I ethically find casual sex with women that includes my male partner?
Choose situations specifically made for that (and stay off dating sites)
For all the reasons talked about above, if you want to find a woman for one night in an encounter that includes your guy, then stay off of online dating sites. It isn’t going to work, and it really, really offends and annoys the women there. Venues already meant for casual sex such as swingers organizations are going be a much more successful and respectful option. Swingers organizations are created specifically for mixed-sex couples to ethically find casual sex, with other couples or solo women, and good ones are set up to make that safe and comfortable for women.
Be a good sharer
If you are looking for a threesome situation keep in mind that women have their own sexual desires, and serving as a sexual aid to a couple is unlikely one of them. Rather than a spectator in your kinky time with your partner, she is a guest, a stranger, and hospitality dictates that she should set the terms and be the one whose needs are best looked after. If you want it to be all or mostly about what you and your partner want, then you aren’t seeing her as a person, and that’s not okay.
Respect the autonomy and relationship needs of non-monogamous women
Non-monogamous women are often non-monogamous because they are interested in having multiple partners and the freedom to make their own sexual and romantic choices. Asking one to be in a closed relationship with you and your husband or boyfriend, and making her relationship with you contingent on her relationship with another person, is both unrealistic and more restrictive than a monogamous relationship person with someone she gets unrestricted access to would be. Who would want that?
For anything other than a one night stand (and even there), your bond with your existing partner sets up a big power imbalance. There is a lot said about this in the polyamory literature (google couple privilege), and the general recommendation is to have separate and independent relationships rather than dating ‘as a couple’, even if you both end up dating the same person, and to never make ‘both of us or none of us’ a requirement.
How do I ethically find casual sex or a relationship with another woman without my male partner?
Finding casual sex without your man attached is going to be a lot easier. However, you still have one big barrier – women aren’t keen to have sex with inexperienced strangers, in general. One exception to this barrier might be another inexperienced, partnered woman. Putting an ad out looking specifically for another inexperienced, partnered-to-a-man bisexual/pansexual woman to form an friendship and perhaps a sexual relationship with might be just the thing. Joining swingers groups or non-monogamy organizations will allow you to form friendships and perhaps datingships with such women.
Lets all get along
I hope if this article applies to you, you now understand how to get your needs met without harming other women. I’m sorry I’m labelling these behaviours as harm, that must be hard to read, but I hope you will be open-minded to the fact that it might be true. I wish you all the happy fun times you deserve.
Lesbians and other queer women – what has been your experience with unicorn hunters and MF couples on dating sites? Feel free to add examples that help explain this issue in the comments below. Note: the editors will delete any comments we want for any reason, so keep it clean and kind, sharing frustrations (or thoughtful disagreement) is okay.