I’m Alexander Cheves, a writer, author, and sex educator. My nickname is Beastly. I give adult advice on this blog — no question is off-limits. To ask me something, email AskBeastly@gmail.com or send a message via the Ask Beastly contact form.
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Let me recap my situation. I am a mid 50s man who for most of my early life have felt that I was sexually oriented to bisexual. I got married in my 20s and had several kids. I never acted on my gay desires, but always felt the need to.
In my 40s, the desire to have sex with women disappeared and my desire for sex with men increased. Then a casual encounter with a high school friend changed my life. Both of us were good friends in high school but had lost touch. We started hanging out together (along with my wife) and before you know it, we were inseparable.
After about 6 months one evening at a local restaurant, he mentioned to me that he is gay. I had suspected this and he told me that he suspected I was gay also (which I confirmed to him). He has since moved in with me (and yes with the wife also). By the way, she is ok with us being sexual. So here is the question…… How do I describe my relationship to the world? It is not anything standard (if there is such a thing).
You sound really cool. It’s nice to be reminded that relationships like yours exist. No, your relationship isn’t anything standard, but who cares? What you have sounds real and exciting, and you’re lucky to have a wife willing to try this experiment with you.
There is really no need to explain your relationship to anyone, but I understand that some people might ask. Describe it to others if doing so feels necessary and right, but remember that your relationship doesn’t exist for anyone else and isn’t anyone’s business but yours. You never have to give it a label or put it in a box for other people to understand.
In terms of succinct descriptors, your best option is to simply explain it as you did to me. You have a wife and a lover (or a boyfriend, whatever you decide to call him), and you all live together. That’s it.
That’s how I would explain it to the kids. That’s how I would explain it to your friends. You don’t need to come up with anything elaborate.
You mentioned that your desire to have sex with women disappeared some time ago, so I must ask: Where is your wife getting her sexual needs met? Is she equally free to seek sex with others? As long as she feels happy and fulfilled, I’d say your relationship seems very healthy. If you’re looking for a technical label, I’d call your relationship polyamorous.
Some hard sticklers for micro-details might argue that you could also be in a non-monogamous marriage, but terms like “monogamy” and “non-monogamy” only really define who you are and aren’t allowed to have sex with, and these words are predicated on the idea of a single, primary relationship. So if your wife is your “primary” relationship and this guy is a side fling — if he’s a sexual exception to an otherwise monogamous union — then some might say you relationship is simply non-monogamous. But if you have two separate and distinct relationships with both of these people — your wife and your lover — then you are polyamorous. But now we’re splitting hairs, and the minutia between these terms really does not matter. You have a wife and a guy you have sex with. Don’t get hung up on what to call it and just enjoy it!
Relationships that are hard to define require strong communication skills and deep understanding of each other — things people search all their lives for. It sounds like you’ve found it.
I’m glad he’s returned to your life in this way, and I’m glad you are starting this journey together with no secrets or lies. Keep everything on the table, with open communication between everyone, and see where it goes.