There she is, on the screen again. Your breath catches. Oh my. Look at that figure. She's absolutely stunning. The things you could do. But wait. You must play it cool. You don't want to get caught ogling other girls.

After all, he doesn't have any clue you're a bi-curious woman.

Although many women have bi-curious thoughts or feelings at some point in their lives, it's not just women who can end up hiding attraction to the same sex from their partners. Men may find it even more difficult to "come out" to their female partners about bi-curious thoughts, perhaps due in part to decades long stereotypes about heterosexual males and societal attitudes towards bisexual men.

For bi-curious people in heterosexual relationships (or alternately, bi-curious people in gay relationships who discover an attraction for the opposite sex), it can be tempting to dwell on these feelings and come to feel like you're missing out. And that can cause bitterness and resentment to well up toward your innocent - and blissfully unaware - partner.

As we all know from every relationship advice article and guide ever published, "honest and open communication is the key to a happy and successful relationship." Come on, chant it with me. The reality is that it's not always quite that easy to just blurt out our feelings or desires. Worries can creep in. Worries that a partner will end up feeling hurt, confused, rejected, or may even be angry with you for having these thoughts.

Many make the decision to keep their feelings bottled up and hidden from their partner, refusing to confront the issue and their own feelings because they are afraid of the potential repercussions for the existing relationship. Whether this decision is right or wrong isn't what we're discussing here, but for those who make the decision to go ahead and share their feelings with their partner, whether for the purposes of honest communication or because they want action to be taken, there are a few steps to help ease the communication process.

Discover Your Desires

First, you need to get clear in your own mind about what your desires are. Not just the fact that you're interested in another gender, but whether you want to follow up on that curiosity and turn it into real, live action. Before you decide to divulge your newfound desires to your partner, you should ask yourself four questions:

  • Do you think your partner will take issue with you being bi-curious or straight-out bisexual?
  • Would you want to take these desires further and engage in a separate relationship or have sexual activity with a person of specific gender?
  • If you would want to take things further, would this be you by yourself, or would you want your partner involved too?
  • Would acting on your desires then become a problem for your partner?

Find Out How Your Partner Feels

The next step is to find out how your partner feels, first about the issue of bisexuality, and then about bisexuality in relation to their partner (you). A tentative approach may be to suggest watching a movie together which includes bisexual or same-sex scenes (as appropriate for your situation), then take note of their reactions or any comments they have. You could also try the old "my friend" routine, telling them on another occasion about a friend of yours who has "come out" to you as bisexual and ask them for their opinions and advice.

Bringing the subject a little closer to home, wait until a chance for an intimate, confessional type conversation arises, then share a crush you think you had on someone years ago. Ask your partner if they think this means you're bisexual or if it was probably just hormones or another excuse. You will be able to gage a lot from their response at this stage.

Once you've gathered enough confidence, you can summon the courage to straight out ask them how they would feel if you were bisexual. Reassure them that there isn't a "someone else," that you're not about to abandon them and this is not a rejection of them or their entire gender. For those with supportive partners, a positive response is to be expected. Having made the brave decision to be honest with your partner about your feelings, it is then time to consider the other questions we noted above.

So, What Are You Going to Do About It?

Your partner's first concern is likely to be whether or not you want to act on these feelings, or whether you're just sharing your desires and fantasies. From this point, you can discuss your personal choices; keeping bi-curious desires a fantasy, to be enjoyed as role play between the two of you, or actively seeking a partner to make those bi-curious fantasies a reality. (Hoping for a threesome? Get some tips in The Right and Wrong Way to Have a Threesome.)

What happens next depends on your personal relationship setup; whereas some partners feel threatened by the thought of their partner having intimate or sexual contact with someone of the same or opposing gender, others find that they can deal with it because their partner is getting to enjoy an experience they can't personally provide.

What is certain is that once you make the decision to tell your partner about your curiosity and consequential desires, you need to invest a lot of time and thought into not only making the announcement, but also deciding on your future actions in relation to it. After all, fantasy is a beautiful thing, but reality can be a lot more complicated.