What kind of sleepover rules should we establish for our bisexual teen?

November 28 |
@offbeatfamilies runs these advice questions as an opportunity for our readers to share personal experiences and anecdotes. Readers are responsible for doing their own research before following any advice given here... or anywhere else on the web, for that matter.
Photo by usestangerines, used under Creative Commons license.
A year-and-a-half ago our then fifteen-year-old daughter told me she was bisexual. This news came as no surprise to me, and I've always been honest with my kids about my own sexual exploits (giving them the PG-13 version, of course). When my daughter cornered me in the bath tub and confessed that she liked girls, not only was I not surprised — I was relieved. It's hell trying to push down secret desires you feel ashamed of.

We don't set rules in our house unless our kids show the need for them — for the most part, we talk to our kids about their discipline and they are involved in the formation of rules and consequences. This has so far worked well for us, but every so often it bites you in the ass.

My daughter attends an online high school, and recently joined Facebook. Since signing up, her social life has suddenly exploded — and she's found young men and women she has expressed an interest in. She recently went to a friend's house and in the course of the evening ended up kissing and cuddling with a girl — her first bisexual experience. She's since chosen to date a boy, but now she's asking if the girl in question can come over and spend the night — ostensibly as a friend.

Neither my husband or I had to talk about our decision. If there is the question of sex involved, they can't spend the night. Sure, she can come over. Yes, you guys can go hang out at her house. But when it comes to an overnight with a girl you kissed the answer is a resounding NO. Much the same as it would be if she asked to let her boyfriend stay the night. But now I'm wondering about the wisdom of our choice: is it really that bad for her to experiment with a girl in a safe and clean environment like our home — especially when there isn't a risk of pregnancy involved? On one hand I feel like I shouldn't have a double standard when it comes to sex or gender just because one of them can't get her pregnant: how have other parents of bisexual children parented in this situation when you have no hard and fast rules to fall back on? — Aubrey