GAY MEN, MONOGAMY & THE LURE OF OPEN RELATIONSHIPS…

17332995_1207475342683392_6056502842024263680_nFor centuries, heterosexual people have defined what relationships are. It started out as a type of possession: “I own you.” Hardly anchored in love, was it? And yet, this is the model that most of the human race has embraced for hundreds of years. Only in the last century or so has marriage begun to be based on love, mutual respect and understanding.

As two men considering getting married, we no longer have to do it “that” way. This is a cause for rejoicing! This is real freedom! So why aren’t we more excited about this? Because this kind of freedom isn’t easy. It’s quite daunting to invent or re-invent a cultural institution that’s been around longer than anyone alive can remember. It’s so much easier to just follow what straight people have been doing and — maybe — modify it a little bit, tweak it just a tad.

 This is certainly an option. But, given the power of our community to create and invent our own norms and institutions, why would we settle for that?

Relationships between two men is dramatically different than heterosexual relationship. It’s a double testosterone marriage. Let’s be clear, I’m not saying that we are helpless victims of our libidos. Instead, we can be intelligent, aware creators of a new kind of relationship that acknowledges that two men together have unique gifts (and challenges) that other kinds of couples don’t. Be prepared to rethink everything you’ve been told about marriage. The bottom line here is: Finally, we get to do it our way.

Many of our relationships start off monogamous. However, because sex is so important to a lot of us, it is my experience that about half of our relationships — over time — are not 100% monogamous. Many gay couples do want monogamy. But these couples often find themselves smack in the center of a community that only pays lip service to it. These couples want to be faithful to each other, but their community encourages them (both overtly and covertly) not to. Readily available sex doesn’t make monogamy very easy.

For many of us considering monogamy – or already monogamous – the question of monogamy or open relationship looms large: it’s both terribly important and terribly confusing. Deciding between the joys of Infinite sexual possibilities or the security of one person for the rest of your life is a huge Catch-22. How do we “win” here?

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