The Impact of Bisexual Identity on Sexual and Relationship Satisfaction of Mixed Sex Couples

Kristen P. Mark, Laura M. Vowels, Amanda M. Bunting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite advances in research into minority sexual identities, bisexual identity research has been limited. Studies conducted to date suggest that bisexuality is often perceived as a ‘transitional’ identity and bisexual individuals in relationships are often perceived to be either straight, lesbian, or gay based on the gender of their relationship partner. The current couple-based study focuses on the experiences of bisexual individuals in mixed-sex relationships and how bisexual identity may impact sexual and relationship satisfaction of both members of the couple. Cross-sectional data were analyzed from both members of 142 mixed-sex couples (N = 284). Analyses indicated that feelings of illegitimacy of bisexuality and outness to family were negatively associated with sexual and relationship satisfaction of both partners whereas intimacy was positively associated with sexual satisfaction for both partners. The results highlight the importance of acknowledging bisexual identity even in the context of long-term relationships and addressing issues surrounding bisexual identity in its function for sexual and relationship satisfaction with couples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-140
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Bisexuality
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article was supported by a grant from the American Institute of Bisexuality.

Keywords

  • Bierasure
  • bisexuality
  • couples
  • relationship satisfaction
  • sexual satisfaction

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