Issue 8: Bi My Book! 📚🥳

Look at the cover! Pre-order! LOVE MEEEEE

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Hi bbs! I hope you’re vaxxed or on your way to one, and taking care of yourself!

I am beside myself with excitement because today is a HUGE day. It’s the day I get to share the cover of my book! And you, dear newsletter subscribers, are the first to see it—I’m truly so grateful you’re here, and wanted to give you a lil’ sumthin’ sumthin’ for supporting this endeavor and this space. 💜

Ladies & gentlethems, I present to you:

Greedy: Notes From A Bisexual Who Wants Too Much by Jen Winston !!!!!

I’m THRILLED about this cover—it was designed by the talented Rodrigo Corral, and I love how it captures the bi stereotype of confusion while still being confident as hell. He designed the type to take up space, capturing fluidity at the same time. Conceptual, chic, and looks great on a nightstand? I’m in love. 😍

The best part about the cover is the fact that you can pre-order it now on my glorious Angelfire-inspired microsite:


Can you believe that URL was only $10? What a time to be a bi!

Throughout the writing process, I’ve learned that there are two huge ways to support authors—listing them here as a not-so-subtle wink and nudge:

  • Pre-ordering books!
    This matters so much because it helps publishers know what to expect for launch, and also can help it get on best seller lists (which would make me faint on the spot).

  • Reviewing books!
    I’m not one to advocate for Amazon but I am one to be shameless, and I’ve learned that Amazon reviews matter a lot in the publishing world. So if you do order from Amazon, please write a review once your book arrives! Five-stars encouraged.

Either of those would truly mean the world. 🥺

Another exciting thing that happened last month: I shot my author photos! I feel the same way about my first book milestone as some people do about their wedding, so I let myself lean into being extra—I wanted look fabulous, wear incredible shit, and fall in love [with myself, of course] all over again. 💁🏻‍♀️

I worked with so many talented queer friends to make this happen! Landon Speers shot the pics and Emily Malinowski handled creative direction, dressing me in upcoming designers (e.g. Tank Air, Louisa Ballou, and Beepy Bella) & helping me find a fabulous hairstylist and fantastic (also bisexual!) MUA. Emily also designed the gorgeous so you can credit her with literally 100% of my aesthetic rn (bless). 👑

I’ll share those pics with you soon, but here’s a BTS selfie of my fave look:

TL;DR: I’ve never felt so attractive or proud in my damn life and I’m so excited to share THIS BOOK with you!!!!! 🥳

Fear & Loathing in Post-Lockdown

Opening up about opening up.

It’s getting tough to write a monthly newsletter about the same thing I wrote an entire book about. I have so many thoughts on bisexuality, consent, threesomes, etc., but I don’t wanna spoil anything! 🤐

But last week I got vaxxed (by the NYPD??? smh) so re-entry is top of my mind right now. Intellectually, I know it’s great news that the world is trending toward re-opening. But emotionally, that doesn’t make me any less anxious, overwhelmed, and afraid.

Throughout COVID’s reign, it’s been tough to keep up with which decision is the ethical one. Things change so quickly! At first we weren’t supposed to wear masks because healthcare workers needed them—now it’s obviously rude (or illegal) not to wear them. At the beginning of the vaccine rollout, it seemed like you shouldn’t get jabbed unless you truly needed a vax to survive, but that shifted almost overnight. Suddenly it felt unethical not to have an appointment, even if you weren’t technically eligible yet.

Rapid shifts like this are a reminder that we’ve been in a state of emergency for over a year. Our brains have inhabited the mental equivalent of a high school gym converted into a mass shelter—we’re sleeping on proverbial cots and wearing proverbial space blankets while we wait for the literal people in charge to call our names.

I keep finding myself thinking about a pivotal apocalyptic text: Don DeLillo’s White Noise. Specifically, I think of this quote:

(CW: death, includes ableist language)

“How strange it is. We have these deep terrible lingering fears about ourselves and the people we love. Yet we walk around, talk to people, eat and drink. We manage to function. The feelings are deep and real. Shouldn't they paralyze us? How is it we can survive them, at least for a little while? We drive a car, we teach a class. How is it no one sees how deeply afraid we were, last night, this morning? Is it something we all hide from each other, by mutual consent? Or do we share the same secret without knowing it? Wear the same disguise?”

Over the past year, we as a collective have grieved the loss of millions. We have fought for our lives, for the lives of our loved ones, and for the lives of complete strangers. We have experienced, witnessed, and dealt with loss due to disease, but also loss as a result of anti-Black and anti-Asian racism. We know that these tragedies were preventable, and we have made every decision with all these truths weighing heavy on us.

There’s hardly anything more universal than the fear of death, and yet—as DeLillo says, and anyone who has ever grieved someone knows—people still don’t allow ourselves to share that fear with each other. We default to pretending we’re fine, which is why we’ve spent the last year outwardly focusing on finding work, paying rent, and smiling through video chats while surrounded by questions of the great unknown.

Now we’re being granted the possibility of escape from this actual and theoretical hell, and we’re supposed to be thrilled. Part of me is thrilled—sometimes I see photos on my camera roll from the Before Times and feel a rush of energy, a dull hope that I might experience “fun” again. But then it occurs to me that the world I’m looking at is gone. The self I’m looking at is gone. Both are relics from the past. And we can’t return to “normal” if “normal” no longer exists.

Thinking about death for 13 months really makes you question the point of everything. If you layer that existential dread onto postmodern performance art (e.g. GME stocks), it becomes hard to take our capitalist world seriously at all. Gender feels especially like a construct when there’s no one around to watch us perform it. Diet culture’s grip falls away as many of us relearn our relationship with food.

It’s no wonder I don’t feel like the same person I was last April:

A year ago I loved being a woman—now I have no clue what my gender is.

A year ago I wore a size 6—now I wear a size 10.

A year ago I stayed out until 4 a.m.—now I barely drink.

A year ago I could run four miles straight—now I can barely walk up stairs.

A year ago I described myself as “happy”—now I cry every few days, give or take.

I’ll eventually have to tell other people about these shifts, but that’s not what worries me. What worries me is myself—my tendency to ignore my gut, to squish my feelings down to make it easier to navigate through the world. I often say I’m fine when I’m not. I often say “yes” when I know it’s a “no.” And I’ve never been great at holding onto the parts of myself that deviate from social norms. Not to get all Carrie Bradshaw, but I can’t help but wonder: Does going “back to normal” mean I’ll regress back to the person I once was — and if so, is “back to normal” actually what I want?

Exhibit A: Fatphobia tells me I need to get back to being “skinny,” but I actually love my bigger body (and my partner does, too). I still look hot, of course (see: above selfie) but now I eat whatever I want and DGAF. Will I accept this physically heavier but emotionally lighter version of myself, or will I cling to the toxic goal of fitting into my old jeans?

Exhibit B: I now use she/they pronouns and very much vibe with these identifiers. But I’ve been spoiled, because digital environments give me so many ways to communicate my pronouns without announcing myself or explaining what they mean. As much as they resonate with me, I still often forget to say them unless someone else mentions pronouns in their intro. When there’s an IRL opportunity to state my pronouns out loud, will I prioritize myself enough to actually do it?

I know I’m not the only one feeling anxious about a return—the last year has changed all types of lives in all types of ways. Our dreams, nightmares, pasts, futures, passions, and priorities have all taken new shape. We’re all in the middle of our own evolutions, and it’ll take a while to get even our closest friends fully up to speed. Thinking about the breadth of COVID’s mess usually makes me spiral, but there’s also a small silver lining: the reminder that we’re not alone.

Throughout last year, I joked that “How are you?” had become a loaded question (one of many recycled pieces of pandemic humor—invite me to your Zoom meeting, I’m a delight). Inevitably, we will ask that question a lot over the coming months, bringing it back to its casual greeting context, and most of us will return to our default socially acceptable answers: “good!” or “fine!” or “can’t complain!” Meanwhile, we’ll all be enduring a life shift that’s anything but casual: the act of easing our new selves back into our old world.

Knowing this, maybe we can show up with a little more empathy, or allot more time to each other when checking in. And the next time an acquaintance asks us how we are, maybe we can find it in ourselves to be radical, and actually tell them the truth.

Follow This Bisexual: Ann Nguyen

This section of the newsletter was written & compiled by my amazing new intern, Macy Harder! Macy (she/her) is a journalism student at the University of Minnesota—not to mention another bisexual you should follow!

Speaking of human interaction, let’s talk about intimacy! This month’s creator is in bed with her work, literally.

Ann Nguyen (she/her) is a women’s sexual empowerment coach rewriting the narratives around sexuality and pleasure. Her content focuses on self-love and pleasure, highlighting the importance of both in our day-to-day lives.

Learn more about Ann below and follow her on Instagram and her website! You can also tune into @jenerous for an Instagram Live convo with Ann on Monday, April 12 at 8pm EST/5pm PST—mark your cal!

What’s your ultimate goal as a sexual empowerment coach?

Ann Nguyen: To teach people that their sensual, sexual energy is a deep source of inner power. Ultimately, I want people to see the path of sexual empowerment as a path of personal self discovery where we can reclaim love in all areas of intimacy—with ourselves, our bodies, our desires, our souls, and with other people.

What’s the most eye-opening piece of advice you’ve received about sex or pleasure?

AN: 1) The fact that babies masturbate in utero! That's how innate our draw to pleasure is. 2) The state of orgasm maps onto the state of enlightenment—you surrender your ego and open up to the full beauty and power of who we all really are. 

How have your experiences as a Vietnamese-American woman impacted your teachings of sexuality as a liberating practice? How have they impacted your personal journey around bisexuality?

AN: Vietnamese culture is steeped in sexual shame, secrecy, and heterosexual patriarchal dominance. Because of these conditions, my own mother, aunts, and ancestors have been through lifetimes of abuse. My experience has been that, as I heal within myself, I heal for my ancestors and for the future. Through this lens, sexual empowerment work is directly related to healing intergenerational trauma, and that includes my exploration of my bisexuality. I've had many members of my family live their queerness in secrecy, and I see my life as a way of upholding their legacy and living out truths that they didn't get a chance to. 

What has been your favorite thing to binge-watch during the pandemic?

AN: Big Mouth! It’s the most hilarious and epic adventure of kids going through puberty, exploring their sexualities and identities. The cast & writers are brilliant—it’s one my favorite shows of all time. 

Thank you so much for reading and subscribing to The Bi Monthly! I love you and I’m so grateful you’re here!

As mentioned up top, this newsletter now has a paid option—if you’d like to support this work directly, feel free to subscribe. Paid subscriptions will also include early access to exclusive content—stay tuned 🥳🥳🥳

Note: Earlier versions of this newsletter said that the paid option would be for donations. This was always my intent, but circumstances have changed—for one, writing this newsletter takes a TON of time and energy, and I’ve done a lot of grappling with the fact that I deserve to be compensated for my work (or at least give people the option to support). Any subscriptions would be supporting me directly, as well as compensating future guest writers. I thank you greatly for it! ❤️