- Though it can seem like a person’s sexuality is defined by the erotica and sex acts they enjoy, that’s not true.
- Ask yourself why it’s so important to label your partner’s sexuality, and talk through those issues with them. At the same time, you should never force your partner to label themselves for your comfort.
- Most importantly, get curious about why your partner enjoys the things they find sexy, as it will lead to greater understanding, strengthen your bond, and open you to new things.
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I recently learned that my boyfriend of five years previously received oral sex from a man twice. I’ve also caught him watching gay porn on multiple occasions.
These instances lead me to believe he’s bisexual. But whenever I ask him about his sexuality, he always claims not to be bisexual.
I’m wondering if, despite his insistence, he really is bisexual, or maybe he’s gay. How can I find out?
It’s normal to want to label people as a way to make sense of how they fit into the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s always necessary or productive.
The way I see it, your situation is one of those cases.
You see, sexuality is a complicated concept. Our society has become more tolerant of people who aren’t straight, but there’s still much confusion, and unfair stereotyping, about people who don’t want to define their sexuality or are still questioning it.
As New York City-based therapist Rachel Wright previously told me, the types of erotica and physical acts a person finds sexually pleasurable are unrelated to their sexuality. People may assume they’re related, however, because of the tendency to stereotype.
It’s possible your boyfriend doesn’t want to box himself into a specific label because he simply doesn’t feel the need. If your main goal is to better understand your boyfriend’s sexual desires, you should focus your energy on supporting him regardless of what he finds erotic.
A good starting point is posing this question to yourself: Why is labeling my partner’s sexuality so important to me?
Perhaps you want reassurance that he’s attracted to you, or maybe you were raised to believe labels are necessary. I invite you to challenge whatever views you hold, and talk through the emotions you’re feeling in relation to sexuality, with your partner. Doing so will make your relationship a stronger and more understanding one.
It’s also possible your boyfriend has a fear of being honest with you, and who can blame him? Though our society has made strides in visibility for queer people, there is still plenty of discrimination and false stereotypes that can drive folks away from labeling themselves.
No matter the reason, I urge you to get curious, not frustrated, about your boyfriend’s sexual desires. Ask him why he enjoys the things you’ve found him watching and learned he’s done in his past.
His answers could open you to a whole new world of possibility in the bedroom and how you love each other.
As Insider’s resident sex and relationships reporter, Julia Naftulin is here to answer all of your questions about dating, love, and doing it — no question is too weird or taboo. Julia regularly consults a panel of health experts including relationship therapists, gynecologists, and urologists to get science-backed answers to your burning questions, with a personal twist.
Have a question? Fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously.
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