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Joy Behar: Gays Take Monogamy Less Seriously Than Straights


Folks are talking about a recent episode of The View in which Joy Behar basically says that gays take monogamy less seriously than straights, and an act of infidelity is less likely to lead to the break-up of a relationship.

Writes Jeremy Hooper at Good as You: "It's astounding that anyone, especially a progressive from New York City's media world, would still have such an uninformed opinion about gay relationships as a whole. Regardless of one's personal views on monogamy, it's downright weird to hear gay couples put in this "other" category that is monolithically one thing. Especially in a world where one can't shake a Tiger without hitting ten straight Jon & Kates!"

Dan Savage, whose conversation with Behar on HLN led to the remarks, says Joy's right: "Gay male couples generally don't view monogamy as the defining characteristic of a loving, committed relationship. Studies of male couples in long-term relationships have found that most gay male couples do allow for some "outside sexual contact," as they say, contacts that I wouldn't characterize as "affairs" or "cheating." If there are no lies, if there is no betrayal, if neither partner is doing anything that violates the commitment he made to the other, then no one cheated and no one was cheated on. Which is not to say that there aren't monogamous gay couples out there."

There are more facets to the argument than that, so watch the whole segment. What do you think?

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I think Joy makes the same mistake that Dan makes...this is not about gay v straight. It's about male v female. Bless her, and Joy too.

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 27, 2010 2:13:56 PM

  2. I think the only mistake here is generalizing, but I have to say, Joy has stated my personal point of view and that of many men I have met.

    I don't find anything offensive in what she said, although I realize that its probably not good politically for us to admit it, since most straights will just see it as gays being "promiscuous".

    I think the most accurate statements had to do with it being a man/woman thing or an individual thing, as opposed to gay/straight thing, but no one will ever get the subtlety of THAT point across to the masses.

    Posted by: rich | Jan 27, 2010 2:14:16 PM

  3. Oh for Christ's sake, leave joy Behar alone. She's one of the few voices of reason in the US media. She's speaking the truth and what what she's saying is not bad. Good for loving gay couples that they're not so hung up on the whole monogamy crap. Straight people cold learn a few lessons here.

    Posted by: Paul | Jan 27, 2010 2:15:53 PM

  4. Personally, I feel she's right although she is generalizing. I'd love to settle down if I met the right guy, but I find not adhering to or having to adhere to the rules of a society who doesn't deem us equal to straight people one of the wonderful things about being gay.

    I like a little sin. Some big ones, too.

    Posted by: Marco | Jan 27, 2010 2:20:02 PM

  5. I think that gays regularly have to find out what their personal rules are for relationships, because their relationships are not recognized as marriage. Some straight people are married and some are in long term relationships, both of varying, and probably different, degrees f non-monogamy. But next to no gays are married, so no gay guy can just fall back on centuries of expectations for the operations of his relationship. I would be much more willing to open up a relationship that doesn't have the title of "marriage" associated with it. I'm Team Joy, because I think her statement is complex, and not coming from a place of ignorance. But I'd like statistics to back up that kind of statement.

    Posted by: Kuhnsy | Jan 27, 2010 2:23:05 PM

  6. I think it shows that gay males are more sexually progressive than the rest of the general population. Much ado about nothing.

    Posted by: Lucas | Jan 27, 2010 2:24:09 PM

  7. It must be exhausting being Joy Behar and being an expert on every subject.

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Jan 27, 2010 2:24:10 PM

  8. Those goddamn Breeder Fags need to shut the fuck up. Everyone who has sucked a dick knows for a fact that while loyalty and commitment are just as important to us, a slip or mistake is not the game changer that it is in a heterosexual relationship. Denying that is just stupid.

    When are they going to understand that trying to mimic heterosexuals is not going to make straight people like us anymore? At the end of the day, we still do things that gross them out. We have to be open and honest about who we are and what we do so they get used to it. That's the only way.

    Posted by: Scott | Jan 27, 2010 2:26:29 PM

  9. I have a REAL problem with this statement. I take monogamy very, very seriously. I learned the hard way, at the age of 21, how cheating on someone affects them. Then, at 25, it happened to me and I realized how the other really felt.
    Now at 36 I would never, ever cheat on my partner period.
    ...and if he does, we're OVER period.
    No if, ands or buts with me, sorry.

    ...and Dan Savage does not represent me in any way, shape or form.

    Posted by: Marc | Jan 27, 2010 2:28:09 PM

  10. I'd have to say she is right... spot on. Wish I could disagree with her but from my experience, no

    Posted by: NewEng | Jan 27, 2010 2:29:20 PM

  11. Jeremy Hooper needs to get off his high horse and recognize that not all relationships are the same. My husband and I have been together for 14 years. Early on our relationship, we were open and I believe this saved us a lot of grief and jealousy. We are closer now than we were before.

    Posted by: Yanz | Jan 27, 2010 2:32:49 PM

  12. Since same-sex marriage is banned in the US (DOMA) this straight vs gay argument about monogamy is like comparing apples and oranges.

    Posted by: Observer1000 | Jan 27, 2010 2:34:15 PM

  13. I know PLENTY of straight *and* gay couples who have open relationships. As far as I know, they've all been together for many years each, and the openness is a good thing for them all. Maybe not my way, but it works for them. The straight swingin' community is alive and well, folks.

    Posted by: raybob | Jan 27, 2010 2:36:08 PM

  14. I think I'm in agreement here, too.

    I think the LGBT community doesn't like to admit that our version of relationships looks a bit different than our straight counterparts, but in fact they do. That's the nature of having two men or two women in a relationship -- the rules change!

    Now the question is whether or not you draw judgement based on these facts. I agree with Dan that cheating is not simply about an act, it's about a betrayal of trust. And if all parties are in agreement about what is okay, then outside disapproval of their acts is simply prejudicial judgement.

    Posted by: Seth | Jan 27, 2010 2:37:21 PM

  15. Scott

    You are disgusting. Just because you feel the need to open your mouth/ass for any cock that comes your way, does not mean all do. I am not trying to mimic anything. However, I do believe in monogamy with your partner. Everyone is attracted to many people at many point. It is out of respect for that person whom you love that you maintain that balance. You need to step outside of the 1970s party you live in.

    Posted by: John | Jan 27, 2010 2:41:38 PM

  16. I blogged this, too, and my take was: She's right. She's not saying gay couples don't take monogamy seriously at all, and she's not saying men or gay men are incapable of monogamy. She's just pointing out that in a straight marriage, infidelity is more frequently a speedy, DO NOT PASS GO ticket to divorce, while that isn't as frequently the case with gay men.

    Honestly, I question the gay men who would deny monogamy is less important in the gay world than in the straight world (and I do agree with the people pointing out that it's a male thing, not a gay thing...which proves the point since a gay couple's got TWO males in it).

    I'd be willing to bet any decent poll or study would show that monogamy is less valued among gay men than it is among straight women.

    None of this should mean gay couples who value monogamy are wrong or delusional or anything. It CAN be quite annoying when people presume all couples are open.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Jan 27, 2010 2:42:50 PM

  17. It's pretty scary when Hasselbeck comes closer to the truth than Joy. I think men regardless of sexuality take monogamy less seriously than women. The only major hinderance straight men have is marriage and children. The bottom line is this. We as gays define our relationships on a one to one basis. Some may prefer an open type, some may prefer monogamy. There is no right or wrong in the gay community. With married heterosexuals, monogamy is the rule, not the exception.

    Posted by: dk | Jan 27, 2010 2:43:09 PM

  18. I think it's up to individual couples to define what their rules are; if everyone is up front about their limits, then there is less likely to be anguish in the future. I think it's safe to say that gay males are generally more amenable to open relationships, and as long as they're amenable, who really cares?

    Monogamy for me is non-negotiable; I would never contemplate an open relationship, but if others want to define their own rules, so be it.

    Posted by: Zach | Jan 27, 2010 2:43:15 PM

  19. Marc, I don't think this is anything about "cheating" but about guys who might have arrangements or even might slip once in a blue moon and kiss another man or something harmless that would seem like the end of the world to straight people.

    I think we're way more evolved than the majority of heterosexuals and can separate emotion from screwing.

    However, it's whatever works for whoever is in the relationship. We are friends with two couples, straight and married, who swing and they know that fucking ain't the same as loving.

    Maybe it's time we understood that every couple can define their own relationship and no one else needs to define it for them.

    Posted by: Bobby | Jan 27, 2010 2:43:39 PM

  20. We are just more honest about it. Plenty of straight marriges and relationships survive infidelity. They just fail to have the "what if" conversation.

    Posted by: Rikard | Jan 27, 2010 2:44:16 PM

  21. After getting to know more gay male couples over the past few years, I've been surprised how many have 'open' relationships. They're not 'cheating', as Savage & Behar make clear.
    It's not something I'm personally comfortable with, but I have to acknowledge it's very common among gay men.
    Though not among women, as someone else noted, above.
    So, in short, I'd say it's not about hetero vs. homo preferences, it's about MALE vs. FEMALE character. Yes, it's a generalization, and won't describe a large portion of gay men. But I think it's true about as often as not.

    Posted by: dw | Jan 27, 2010 2:44:30 PM

  22. I think she is basically right...Armistead Maupin brought up the same topic in "Micheal Tolliver Lives"... But no one can answer for everybody...then again if it looks like a duck..............

    Posted by: John Normile | Jan 27, 2010 2:44:52 PM

  23. It's been just the way Dan and Joy said my whole lengthy adult [and gay, and male] life. No one's been excluded here; each of them was careful to point out that certainly there are those for whom monogamy is primary. 'Shoot the Messenger' - such a popular pastime.

    Posted by: pixelwizard | Jan 27, 2010 2:47:34 PM

  24. "Now at 36 I would never, ever cheat on my partner period.
    ...and if he does, we're OVER period."

    That's fine, and as long as you're both honest about that, then all the power to you. But if both parties are open to sexual experimentation, what's the harm?

    Posted by: Zach | Jan 27, 2010 2:47:36 PM

  25. I just think Joy should realize the few people she talks to does not constitute a cross section of the gay community. It's like when she was calling Levi Johnston a "gay icon" ??? WHAT?

    Posted by: dk | Jan 27, 2010 2:52:49 PM

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