the gap between motherhood and sexuality
I’m bisexual by definition.
I have dated men and women.
I spent years in relationships with women and years in relationships with men.
I feel attracted to both.
I am currently in a relationship with a man and we have a child together.
While being a mother has occupied my life front and center I have noticed some personal shifts in my new role as a mother.
I feel uncomfortable talking about my bisexuality with anyone.
Being a mother has slotted me into a protector, a nurturer, a caretaker.
Being in a relationship with a man has automatically labeled me as heterosexual.
So when I talk about how my last relationship with a woman went sour eyebrows go up.
“You dated a woman?”
“For how long?”
“What was that like?”
The paradox of being a mom in a heterosexual relationship is people assume that is all I am.
Bisexuality is the invisible sexuality.
When I was 17 I started get curious about dating women.
I felt attracted to the same sex and wanted to explore my attraction further.
For all of my twenties I dated both men and women.
I was an activist in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans) community and am still a believer that LBGT rights are human rights.
If I ever shared that I was bisexual I would get mixed feedback from men and women.
“Maybe you just haven’t met the right woman…”
“Are you sure you are bisexual?”
“That’s such a turn-on that you are bi.”
Bisexuality is the invisible sexuality.
We don’t get support.
We get questioned.
We get told maybe it’s just a phase.
We aren’t validated.
We are encouraged to pick one.
After all we must have a preference.
The gap between motherhood and sexuality.
I am now a mother and many of my conversations are focused on motherhood.
In many of my conversations I find that we mothers tend to hide behind the motherhood, family, work life responsibilities.
We aren’t talking about our personal relationships with our spouses or lack thereof.
We don’t talk about our sexualities.
There is a silent assumption that we are straight women in straight relationships living a heterosexual life.
We don’t talk about what we enjoyed before we had kids.
We don’t share what our sex lives are like now that we have kids.
Our own personal identities have been erased and replaced with a new societal role of the mother.
To fit in or not to fit in?
I feel the pressure of having to conform to a heteronormative stereotype to “fit in”.
I feel like I have to keep my bisexuality a secret from the new mama friends I make.
I don’t want to be judged for being bisexual.
I don’t want to see eyebrows raised if I say my partner and I didn’t have sex for eight months.
I want to ask, “How is your sex life going now?”
I want to ask if they have dated both men and women.
I want to feel accepted for who I am.
It is assumed that I am a heterosexual woman because I am in a relationship with a man or because I am a mom.
Dr. Joye Swan sums it up perfectly:
“One final problem unique to bisexual individuals is society’s tendency to define people’s sexual orientations based on their current relationship status…
Many bisexual people struggle with their public orientation because it doesn’t tell the whole story and many bisexuals face strong social judgment if they try to assert their bisexual orientation in the face of their current monosexual relationship.”
Letting go of the shame around sex and sexuality.
Moms get to let their hair down too.
We need more than a “Mom’s night out” once a month.
We get to talk about our wildest fantasies.
We don’t have to feel ashamed for who we are.
Or hide our sexuality.
Or continue to live up to a heteronormative stereotype to fit into a group.
For us bisexual moms living in secrecy only inhibits our true selves.
The more we stay silent about our secrets the more we suffer.
Our sexuality is nothing to be ashamed of.
It doesn’t take away from the love we can offer to our families and to our children.
I know that I am attracted to women. I know that I am attracted to men.
And I think that’s okay.