Sexplain It: My Boyfriend Is Interested in Guys, but He Doesn't Want a Threesome

Zachary Zane helps a woman support her bi boyfriend in this week's column.

woman looking over mans shoulder at his phone
Getty Images

I'm Zachary Zane, a sex writer and ethical manwhore (a fancy way of saying I sleep with a lot of people, and I'm very, very open about it). Over the years, I've had my fair share of sexual experiences, dating and sleeping with hundreds of people of all genders and orientations. In doing so, I've learned a thing or two about navigating issues in the bedroom (and a bunch of other places, TBH). I'm here to answer your most pressing sex questions with thorough, actionable advice that isn't just "communicate with your partner," because you know that already. Ask me anything—literally, anything—and I will gladly Sexplain It.

To submit a question for a future column, fill out this form.


Dear Sexplain It,

A few months ago, I found my boyfriend on Grindr. We moved past the betrayal part to the “How do we integrate this into our relationship?” part. We’ve been on some apps and talked to some guys about MMF bisexual threesomes. I’ve also done some butt play on him, but he doesn’t seem to want to pull the trigger.

How can someone who was (potentially) willing to cheat on me to satisfy those urges now just switch them off again? He has had previous experience with men, and I am the first person in his life he has ever “come out” to.

PS: I’m super enthusiastic and genuinely excited to incorporate this into our relationship with zero hesitation!

—Grindr Girl

sexplain it graphic
.

Dear Grindr Girl,

First off, I would like to say how awesomely chill you’re being about all this. Your ability to not only forgive his act of betrayal but then to support him through his budding (bi)sexuality speaks volumes to who you are as a person. I honestly believe that if there were more accepting women like you in the world, bi men would feel more comfortable to come out and embrace their sexuality. This would have a massive positive impact on the mental wellbeing of bi men, who, to this day, often remain closeted and live consumed by sexual shame.

While it’s clear that you are totally okay with your boyfriend’s sexuality, he’s not there yet, and that’s why he’s now “switching off" his desires.

This stuff can take time. For reference, I started hooking up with men in September of 2009. I didn’t come out as bisexual to my family until November 2014, and then I came out publicly to the world in April 2015. During those five and a half years, I was filled with shame, confusion, frustration, and self-loathing. (Fun!) I desperately wanted to have my sexual identity “figured out.” I wasn’t even sure if I should go on dates with men or women, and that made my romantic and sexual life a minefield to navigate. I’d be on a date with a perfectly fine man or woman and be like, “Wait? Do I even actually like men?” or, “Am I just gay, in denial, and fooling myself into thinking I want to have a girlfriend?”

Figuring out one’s sexuality takes time, especially when bisexual. (Side note: I'm going to proceed with advising you under the assumption that your boyfriend is bi and not gay because it sounds like he does want to be in a relationship with you—the question is more about how you can empower him to explore the desires he's currently trying to smother.)

top down view of man looking at dating app on smartphone
Willie B. ThomasGetty Images

I know you're confused about how he can 'switch off' his desires so easily. According to Joe Kort, Ph.D., licensed sex and relationship therapist, it's probably because he's ashamed you caught him violating the rules of your relationship.

He notes, “My initial thoughts are that this guy has been caught and feels remorse. When your negative consequences are in front of you, it is easier to recreate a boundary and keep it.”

However, as long as you keep communicating with him, reaffirm your love for him and encourage exploration, he will hopefully come around. “As the consequences die down, people often return to their old behaviors,” Kort says, which in this case, means going back to wanting to hook up with guys.

At that point, you can create what your ideal relationship would like. Maybe the next step is to watch gay porn together? Depending on that goes, you two could play together with another guy. Or perhaps he prefers to explore alone and come back and tell you about it? You have endless options. Talk them through and see which ones work best for the two of you. Continuously have these conversations, as your boyfriend is likely learning new things about his desires over time. (And your desires may change too! You may realize you're not into group sex, or you love it! Whatever the case may be, you need to vocalize it. Even though you want to support your boyfriend as much as possible, remember that this relationship is about your needs, too.)

But in the meantime, keep doing what you’re doing, which is being supportive without being overeager. He’s going to have to come around on his accord. Your job is to show him that you love him and still want to be there with him no matter his attractions. “Bisexual men are also very scared of losing their female partners,” Kort says. “So even though you’re being supportive, he might be suspicious and worried that you’re going to leave him.”

So REALLY show that support! You can do this by saying you’ll love him no matter what, you want him to be happy, and you’re excited about the potential of bringing more men into your relationship. Express how it’s not just something you’re doing to make him happy, but you’re actually really turned on by the idea. (More dick for you! Yay!)

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From SEXPLAIN IT