Truly Yours

Bisexual brouhaha? And should I date an HIV+ man?

by Lena Lett
Published on October 23, 2003, 12:00am | Comments

Truly Yours by Lena Lett

Dear Lena,

It's rather queer that a drag queen would pass moral judgment on the lifestyle of a happily married bisexual. I'm sure you're aware that couples can be legally married in Nevada at a drive-thru, using whatever vows they choose (which may not include monogamy), by an Elvis impersonator...or even a female illusionist. Rather than criticizing "Happy Married Bi" for tricking with closed-minded gay men, you might have suggested he and his wife explore the idea of plural marriage with a much more suitable bisexual man, whom they both found compatible. To find such a relationship, of course, would require "Happy Married Bi" and his wife do some dating with prospective mates first. It also assumes they're honest with each other. We already know that he's honest with his tricks about his wife.

--Plurally Married

Dear Lena,

Usually you give very sound advice, but here I think your own prejudices threw you way off the mark.

You told a married bisexual who likes having recreational sex with men that the reason gay men expressed their disapproval of his bisexuality was that they didn't want to be used to satisfy another man's urges. That's a crock.

Not all marriages are based on monogamy. If you enter a civil marriage, the clerk or justice of the peace simply asks, "Do you take this man/woman to be your husband/wife?" Takes all of five seconds, without all the moral/religious stipulations and conditions.

Second, your advice was extremely condescending regarding recreational sex. C'mon, an advice columnist in a gay publication of all people should be aware that recreational sex is as much a valid hobby or pastime of men who have sex with men as pick-up basketball games, fishing or bowling are among straight men. And where did you get the idea "no one likes to be used"? Certainly you're aware that there are lots of folks who enjoy B/D/S/M, Daddy/boy, Master/slave relationships. Certainly you're aware some men fetishize watersports, being spanked, paddled, whipped or gang-banged. For an advice columnist, you seem awfully naive. Or is it that you simply disapprove?

I don't know why you didn't simply refer Happy Married Bi to a group like the Gay Married Men's Association (GAMMA), at, where he could have found a supportive environment of like-minded men.

--Miffed in VA

As I wrote before, this question is an interesting one. But I think you have misunderstood what I wrote. I'm not passing any sort of judgment on the bisexual married man looking for sex. Remember, he wrote, “Gay guys go nuts when I tell them I am bisexual.” My question is why do you have to tell me anything about yourself at all? If it's simply sex for the sake of sex, then by all means let's do it. But if you start revealing intimate details about yourself, then you're creating and forming -- or at least trying to -- a relationship. Honey, I don't need to know even your name if we're just fucking. Why are you telling me that you're married? Does this information make the sex between us better? If you want sex for the sake of sex, have at it. Just be clear with the other person -- and yourself -- that that is what it is. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Dear Lena,

I really like this guy and I know that he is interested in me as well. The only thing that stops me for pursuing it further is that he is HIV positive and I am not. Do you think I should let this go or do you think I should pursue him and not let the HIV factor get in the way. Need help.

--At the Crossroads

Honey, we are all more than the sum of our parts. Being HIV positive is a part of who he is. It is wise to take precautions, but avoiding him is a form of discrimination. Ask yourself, do you enjoy him? Does he make me laugh? Do I become a better person when I am with him? When you start discriminating you will always find a reason to avoid people. Do not waste an opportunity because of fear. If you feel you don't know enough about HIV to make a decision such as this, you can find many sources of information at Whitman-Walker Clinic at

Truly Yours,


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