Donate Now
We've Moved! Check out our new boards.
  New Poll  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Kissing Other People

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Kissing Other People
extinguished
Neophyte
Member # 39134

Icon 1 posted      Profile for extinguished     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've been seeing my boyfriend for almost two months now. He and I have vastly different levels of experience: he's had several long-term relationships, plus some relationships that were only physical -- whereas he is my first real boyfriend, and my physical experience pretty much started with him as well.

Before we began officially dating, I told him of my "bisexuality" (I prefer to go without labels). He had two reactions. The first was the stereotypical straight boy's reaction (that it's "hot"), but the second sounded a little insecure. He said that it would be a huge blow to him if I dumped him for a girl -- worse than if I dumped him for another guy.

I'm aware that bisexual =/= polyamorous, but my strong sexual attraction to women, paired with my lack of experience for my twenty years, makes me feel as though I've missed out by entering what looks like will be a serious relationship. I'm extremely happy with my boyfriend and have no intentions of breaking it off anytime soon, but part of me feels as though this is the time in my life to be carefree when it comes to this sort of thing.

So what I'm saying is this: I want to keep my relationship, but still have options with other people. We were talking a little while ago and he said he doesn't want me kissing other guys. I said, "But you let me kiss [my female friend] at that party." He began to reply with, "Yeah, but that's ..." I stupidly interrupted and said, "That's just her, haha," (as in, she's my best friend and poses no threat) and he agreed. If I hadn't interrupted, maybe he would have said that my kissing girls is different or less threatening, or something.

I want to bring it up again, and I want to tell him that kissing other girls is something I'm interested in, but I want a way to do it that won't hurt his feelings or make him feel inadequate. I've spoken with friends about this, and they say to pay him sincere compliments during the conversation, and assure him that he's the only one I want, but I'm having a hard time thinking about what to say without making it sound fake or forced. Any advice?

Posts: 9 | From: Canada | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Can you perhaps say some more about discussions you two have had about this?

Because my sense is that your boyfriend is NOT comfortable with anything but sexual exclusivity, including kissing, with anyone, really. Whether or not it's something you have an interest in, it's sounding to me like this may not be a relationship where you are going to be able to really explore that within the boundaries your boyfriend is most comfortable with.

It also sounds like you don't really want a sexually or romantically exclusive relationship right now.

So, if the two of you want different models, you're either going to each have to compromise -- and both be okay with that -- or perhaps reconsider continuing this relationship as a romance/sexual relationship together, and maybe talk about being friends instead so that you both can pursue the things you each really want.

One last thing I'd add is that my impression is that a lot of straight guys are currently having some conflicts when it comes to girlfriends making out with other women in front of them. In short, my sense is that many enjoy that as a performance, for them, but only so long as that's what it is, not as something that's about feelings between those two women which have nothing to do with them, or about a girlfriend having a sexuality or aspects of it which don't include them. Given all the messages flying around about this stuff, I'm not surprised they often seem to feel so conflicted and confused, and I do think it's something to bear in mind and talk about, particularly since if they understand bisexuality or women being with women as something that's still about them, that's a misunderstanding no one is going to benefit by fostering. Know what I mean?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extinguished
Neophyte
Member # 39134

Icon 1 posted      Profile for extinguished     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We haven't talked about it very much; I've always been too afraid of hurting his feelings to explore the conversation. When my friend kissed me at that party, she first just gave me a quick little peck out of the blue, because we'd been joking about how we'd been friends for a decade and hadn't once kissed ("think of all that practice we missed out on!" hahaha). A little later in the night, we were laughing about it again when my boyfriend told me to kiss her again, and then he said to "keep going", but we just had a few more quick kisses. This led me to believe that he might be okay with me kissing girls, as long as I told him about it and remained honest, and as long as there was no emotional attachment.

However, now that I think about it, at that same party we discovered that my friend A and her boyfriend M have a pretty open relationship. M didn't kiss anyone but A, but A was kissing boys and girls all over the place. Someone said to me, "they're allowed to kiss anyone, as long as it doesn't go beyond that." My boyfriend later said that it didn't sound like a good idea: "If you're going to make out with someone, why not your boyfriend?" I can't argue with that, but I can't help my curiosity about other people.

Between these two situations, it's hard to judge what his opinion might be.

Do you think it's possible to convince my boyfriend that it would all be for fun (something he should understand, as he's had many "friends with benefits")? I guess, based on what you're saying, it might be easier for a boy to handle his straight girlfriend kissing a girl, rather than his bisexual girlfriend doing the same. Also, as slightly degrading as it sounds (I'm reminded of a certain Top 40 pop song), I'm perfectly willing to kiss other girls as a performance for him, since it's not like I wouldn't benefit from it too!

Posts: 9 | From: Canada | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thing is, it's very hard to promise something is "all for fun," when we can't control our feelings. That also goes for anyone you might kiss, date or whatever with: not everyone views sexual or romantic contact with someone else as all for fun, or as a dalliance. We can control our actions, absolutely, but not our feelings. Can any of us ever promise we won't fall in love with someone or develop deeper feelings? Nope. We can only make commitments or assurances about what we will or will not do with those feelings when and if things get to that point.

It does sound to me like that last issue I brought up was probably at play here, so I'd suggest really being honest and when talking about this, making clear this isn't about finding out what is and isn't okay based on what he's turned on by or intimidated by. You might be okay with that, he might be okay with that, but being the third party in that situation can actually seriously stink and feel really dehumanizing: this isn't just about the two of you, after all. I tend to think of these things in the context of honesty for everyone: if you can be totally honest with a girl about your motivations and how she's nothing you could ever take or treat seriously, and how she's got to also be a performance for your boyfriend, and she still wanted to kiss you, one supposes there's little to protest there. But I guess I also have to kind of wonder what someone coming to something with other people that way is even exploring, if you follow me. If it all really is that shallow or meaningless, there seems little to explore: after all, you know what it's like to kiss someone. It's also pretty unlikely that if you are becoming strongly attracted to women, all you're ever going to want is to make out with them in front of a boyfriend now and then, that you won't want to have experiences that really just belong to you and another woman, or that, at a certain point, most women who are attracted to other women are going to be all that into this setup.

I can tell you that as a bisexual woman dating women, the personals ads, for instance, have often been my worst freaking nightmare because I had to wade through piles of hetero-couples just looking for one of us to be amused by, and it really felt gross and ugly at a certain point. Sometimes you'd get blindsided, too: some gal would start chatting you up then start talking about what she wanted to do with you in front of her husband. Bleck. If I had wanted to date men, I'd have been seeking them out, not women. If I had wanted to date a couple, I'd have been looking for a couple. That's not to say some women aren't okay with that situation or even looking for the same thing you are -- for you to perform with them in front of their male partners -- but it does seem to primarily live in the realm of very young people or married couples who are feeling bored and want sex with another woman to actually be about them. You can hear a lot of women who date women feeling pretty bitter about this: it's not an uncommon experience or set of feelings.

(Mind: I'm not saying everything has to be some big romance nor be singular to be meaningful. I'm of the mind and experience that casual relationships or primarily sexual relationships have the capacity to offer us as much as anything else in many ways. But I'm not sure how much they actually offer if we're coming to all of them with our hearts completely closed, with so many limitations on how we see someone or allow ourselves to be seen by them or when we're being deceptive with someone in some way. Does that make sense?)

But overall, giving him the impression you're straight if you don't think you are (you can not like labels all you want, but if you're attracted to both women and men, "straight" is a pretty deceptive one) doesn't seem like a sound foundation for a healthy relationship to me. If it hurts his feelings for you to have the orientation you have and the curiosities you do, the feelings you may have, that's going to be a problem. Sexual or romantic exclusivity -- to whatever degree -- is a choice, and if someone finds it meaningful, it's meaningful because it IS a choice, not just what we do because we don't dig anyone else, you know? I'm sure he's attracted to people beyond you, too. if you two are going to agree to some level of exclusivity because that's what you both want, no one's feelings should be hurt to know that's a choice. And if that isn't really what you want, and what he does, then it's likely not going to work out over time, so feelings get hurt more later, when he's more invested, rather than earlier, before he gets seriously invested.

II bet you can find a way to talk about all of this openly and honestly that's also sensitive to his feelings and truthful about yours. Particularly since you two have not been together for years at this point: this is brand, shiny-new.

I know I went on here for a while: I was just trying to speak to what often seems simple but I think tends to be a lot more complex. At the same time, again, two months is not a long-term relationship: it's just barely starting to date. I think it's actually pretty hasty to be telling someone after only two months they are the only one you want, particularly when that knowingly isn't true. You still have plenty of time to decide if you want to get into something long-term and serious. But if you think it might go there, I think it might be helpful to have these conversations earlier rather than later, and to establish a relationship that's based on being really honest, or find out before it gets serious that this maybe isn't a good fit per what both of you actually want.

Hopefully that helped!

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extinguished
Neophyte
Member # 39134

Icon 1 posted      Profile for extinguished     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Believe me, I've certainly thought about the feelings of the third person. I would never let a girl believe I was interested in a relationship with her if I wasn't -- I would make my intentions very clear. In the past, I despised the idea of girls only making out for their boyfriends, because it didn't seem fair for the potentially-interested third party. But now that I'm in this situation, I guess it doesn't seem so bad if everyone keeps it casual.

I think some of my feelings have to do with the group of friends that attend these parties; it's been awhile since I've spent any time with some of them, and a lot of the people are brand new to me, but I've noticed that they're all extremely casual with each other. I've never had something like that, so maybe, while I'm happy with my boyfriend, part of me is just jealous. (And, for the record, there are only maybe one or two other bisexual girls and no lesbians in the group. The girls are mostly straight, and many have boyfriends.)

Thanks so much for the great advice, Heather!

Posts: 9 | From: Canada | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm glad it was of help: it was late, and I know I prattled on a bit!

Just FYI, in terms of the dynamics of this group, what you're effectively talking about is something of a polyamorous community. That being the case, if your intent is to only hook up within that community, that's something to discuss with this guy, and perhaps even AS a community. In other words, if the community has "rules" -- and it probably does, they're just likely more assumed than actually discussed, and the latter beats the former, especially since if you're new to them, you may not even know what they are -- you'd be asking about working within what those are. Working something like this within a defined community, if everyone knows the rules and respects them, can actually be an asset.

The thing you'd just want to look out for, though, is how much awareness there even is about that, and, of course, any downsides of making your whole social circle a shared dating pool: it's got its tricky bits and possible pratfalls, too.

Lastly, I'd just be sure no double standards get employed. if he agrees that okay, some degree of hookup for you is okay within this community, if he has any interest in same for himself, you're going to need to be just as open to that as you expect him to be.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

  New Poll   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3