Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Gay Male Couple's Guide to Nonmonogamy

via Advocate, by Daniel Vaillancourt

Mikey Rox and Everett Earl Morrow, both now 30, were committed to monogamy when they met and fell in love. That was five years ago.

“After a couple instances of infidelity to which we both confessed, we decided it’s not realistic to expect either of us to never hook up with anyone else ever again,” says Rox, principal of Paper Rox Scissors Copy and Creative in Manhattan.

The legally married couple has had an open relationship for the last two years. “Who wouldn’t want to be allowed to hook up with other guys and have their husband be OK with it?” he asks.

“Isn’t that what most men dream of, and isn’t the limitation of sex with one partner in a marriage the reason why so many people cheat?” Adds Morrow, “As two men, sex isn’t particularly emotional for either of us. That enables us to separate our love for one another from the occasional physical attraction we may have for another guy.”

Matthew and Pablo, married 40-something realtors in Palm Springs, Calif., were monogamous for the first eight of their 15 years together.

“We sort of just fell into our open relationship,” says Matthew. “It’s been a slow evolution. In the beginning, we only played together, which made it feel less threatening.”

They still enjoy the occasional threesome, but for the last few years have increasingly sought sex outside the relationship.

Jelle and Guido, both 44-year-old ground personnel for an international airline in Amsterdam, have been together since 1997.

For 10 years monogamy reigned. But when physical attraction waned, sex fell by the wayside and the relationship soured, eventually hitting rock bottom.

The two figured they had nothing to lose, opened up their relationship, and saved it. “I’m really happy,” says Guido. “It made our relationship stronger. I’m glad he’s my partner, I love him, and I believe it was a wise decision to give each other the freedom we needed.”

Adds Jelle: “There are so many things keeping us together: love, trust, friendship, security, common hobbies and interests, humor, a shoulder to cry on. Much too much to give up for that tiny but oh so important aspect in life that is sex.”

Although no one knows for sure how many gay couples are in open relationships, or whether they are on the decline, it’s certain these men are not alone. “I would feel comfortable saying that at least four out of five long-term gay male couples are not monogamous,” says Beverly Hills sexologist Winston Wilde.

“Monogamy rarely does work for more than two years — for most straight and bi men as well.”
Which isn’t to say that lifelong fidelity is unattainable. Experts agree that couples who are creative and on the same page can absolutely sustain a vigorously exclusive sex life.

“We are not and have never been in an open relationship,” says Doug Hairgrove. He and partner Warren Wood, married septuagenarians also from Palm Springs, have been together 50 years.

They’re still intimate at least twice a week and see sex and love as inseparable. “We do not understand having one and not the other,” says Wood.

John Sovec, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Pasadena, Calif., encourages his clients to form the most powerful and satisfying bond possible. “I believe gay couples have an incredible opportunity to create whatever type of relationship works best for them without the constraints of a societal norm,” he says.

When one partner wants an open relationship and the other does not, “one person has to yield,” says Loren A. Olson, a Des Moines psychiatrist and the author of Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight, a Psychiatrist’s Own Story.

“Two cannot live with rules that are mutually exclusive.” In such scenarios, Timothy Huber, a clinical psychologist in the New York metro area, prescribes the three T’s.

“Talk, talk, talk about it,” he urges. “Do not avoid or minimize the issue. For some, that’s a setup for infidelity. If conflicts persist, seek professional assistance.”

Even when both partners desire nonmonogamy, there are cases when it’s not advisable. “Odd as it may sound, an open relationship requires a strong degree of trust and respect in order to be successful,” says Didi Zahariades, a psychotherapist in private practice in Portland, Ore.

“In my experience, it requires a healthy, loving couple who are able to talk honestly about their individual needs. Open relationships are not a possibility for a couple with a high degree of distrust or jealousy. If a couple is already volatile, then adding another person — or persons — is simply not an option.”

Read the rest

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

select key words

2007 National HIV Prevention Conference 2009 National LGBTI Health Summit 2011 LGBTI Health Summit 2012 Gay Men's Health Summit 2012 International AIDS Conference abstinence only ACT Up activism advocacy Africa african-american aging issues AIDS AIDS Foundation of Chicago anal cancer anal carcinoma anal health anal sex andrew's anus athlete ball scene bareback porn barebacking bathhouses bears big bold and beautiful Bisexual Bisexual Health Summit bisexuality black gay men black msm blood ban blood donor body image bottom Brian Mustanski BUTT Center on Halsted Charles Stephens Chicago Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus Chicago Task Force on LGBT Substance Use and Abuse Chris Bartlett chubby chaser circumcision civil rights civil union Coaching with Jake communication community organizing condoms Congress crystal meth dating dating and mating with alan irgang David Halperin David Munar depression disclosure discrimination domestic violence don't ask don't tell douche downlow Dr. James Holsinger Dr. Jesus Ramirez-Valles Dr. Rafael Diaz Dr. Ron Stall drag queen Ed Negron emotional health ENDA Eric Rofes exercise Feast of Fun Feel the love... female condom fitness Friday is for Faeries FTM gay culture gay identity gay latino gay male sex gay marriage gay men gay men of color gay men's health Gay Men's Health Summit 2010 gay pride gay rights gay rugby gay sex gay youth gender harm reduction hate crime HCV health care health care reform health insurance hepatitis C HIV HIV care HIV drugs HIV negative HIV positive HIV prevention HIV stigma HIV strategic plan HIV testing hiv vaccine HIV/AIDS homophobia homosexuality hottie hotties how are you healthy? Howard Brown Health Center HPV human rights humor hunk Illinois IML immigration International AIDS Conference international mr. leather internet intimacy IRMA Jim Pickett leather community leathersex Leon Liberman LGBT LGBT adoption LGBT culture LGBT health LGBT rights LGBT seniors LGBT youth LGBTI community LGBTI culture LGBTI health LGBTI rights LGBTI spirituality LGV LifeLube LifeLube forum LifeLube poll LifeLube subscription lifelube survey Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano love lube lubricant Lymphogranuloma Venereum masturbation mental health microbicides middle Monday Morning Perk-Up MRSA MSM music National AIDS Strategy National Gay Men's Health Summit negotiated safety nutrition One Fey's Tale oral sex Peter Pointers physical health Pistol Pete pleasure PnP podcast policy politics poppers porn post-exposure prophylaxis PrEP President Barack Obama Presidential Campaign prevention Project CRYSP prostate prostate cancer public health public sex venues queer identity racism Radical Faerie recovery rectal microbicides relationships religion research safe sex semen Senator Barack Obama sero-adaptation sero-sorting seroguessing sex sexual abuse sexual addiction sexual health sexual orientation Sister Glo Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence smoking social marketing spirituality STD stigma stonewall riots substance abuse treatment substance use suicide super-bug superinfection Susan Kingston Swiss declaration syphilis Ted Kerr Test Positive Aware Network testicle self-examination testicular cancer testing The "Work-In" The 2009 Gay Men's Health Agenda Tony Valenzuela top Trans and Intersex Association trans group blog Trans Gynecology Access Program transgender transgender day of remembrance transgendered transmen transphobia transsexual Trevor Hoppe universal health care unsafe sex vaccines video violence viral load Who's That Queer Woof Wednesday writers yoga You Tube youtube