Expert Answers Factual Answers to Your Sexual Health Questions

anonymous on September 12, 2011

My wife got drunk and kissed another woman. Does this mean she’s bisexual or gay?

A few months back, my wife went out with a friend of hers to a night club. My wife was drinking and ended up kissing another woman. Does that mean she’s bisexual or gay, or is it normal behavior? Most of her friends are either lesbian or bisexual...so maybe that has something to do with it?By the way, she’s 21 and I’m 24.

answered by Annette Fuglsang Owens, MD, PhD on September 12, 2011

Thanks for sharing your question. First, only your wife can tell you what her actions do or don’t reveal about her sexuality or sexual identity. However, I can offer you a few thoughts that might help give you a few thoughts in answer to your questions to get you started...

Is your wife’s behavior normal? That depends on how you define “normal.” If you’re asking whether her behavior is common, the answer is yes…same-sex experimentation is common for young adults.

In fact, one study shows that experimenting sexually with the same sex is twice as common for women than men. According to theNational Center for Health Statistics Survey from 2006-2008, 12% of women ages 25-44 reported same-sex contact at some point in their lifetimes, compared with just 5.8% of men. The study also found that sexual identity correlates closely, but not perfectly, with sexual behavior.

In other words, your wife is still a young woman and it may be that she’s simply exploring and developing her identity. And it would be understandable if her friends’ sexualities caused her to wonder about her own. Also, it’s well-known that alcohol lowers inhibitions and causes most people to act in ways that may or may not reflect their truest identity.

Does this experience mean that your wife is bisexual or gay? Not necessarily, but only she can answer that question…and it may be an answer that evolves over time. Keep in mind that most people who study sexuality believe that sexual identity is fluid…it’s possible for people to have heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual feelings at different times of their lives.

That said, uncertainly about your partner’s sexuality and sexual identity can be stressful. I would encourage you and your wife to speak openly about this issue, and perhaps consider speaking with a couples therapist or counselor to help guide you through this aspect of your relationship.

You’re both young and hopefully have a long life as a couple ahead of you. So you may want to consider this situation as an opportunity for growth and getting to know your wife better…rather than as an obstacle to the love in your relationship.

I wish you the best of luck in dealing with the complex issue of sexual identity!

Related info:

Annette Fuglsang Owens, MD, PhD

Dr. Owens is an AASECT-certified sexuality counselor. Her areas of expertise include the medical aspects of human sexuality and sexual problems, as well as the impact of STDs ⎼ and other diseases, illnesses and disabilities ⎼ on sexuality. Dr. Owens was educated at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

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