Comments

  1. Mike says

    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.

  2. rich says

    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.

  3. Paul says

    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.

  4. Marco says

    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.

  5. says

    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.

  6. says

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

  7. Scott says

    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.

  8. Marc says

    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.

  9. NewEng says

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

  10. Yanz says

    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.

  11. Observer1000 says

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

  12. says

    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.

  13. Seth says

    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.

  14. John says

    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.

  15. says

    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.

  16. dk says

    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.

  17. Zach says

    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.

  18. Bobby says

    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.

  19. Rikard says

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

  20. dw says

    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.

  21. John Normile says

    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…………..

  22. pixelwizard says

    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.

  23. Zach says

    “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?

  24. dk says

    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?

  25. Dusty says

    Two things:

    1. Men are different than women.

    2. Gay couples aren’t afforded the right to marriage. How can you compare a married couple to a couple not allowed by law to become married? Give gay couples stronger tools for commitment and THEN make the call about monogamy.

  26. crispy says

    I know a monogamous couple. About a week after they got home from Provincetown, one of ’em was driving a brand new Mercedes. Just sayin.

  27. Disgusted American says

    I told my partner of 10yrs this…IF we were younger we’re 50/54 – and IF we were raising kids…I’d want to be married/and HAVE a monogomous relationship,period! But since we are older,no children…and not getting married…IF we both agree..on occassion to “have sex” outside our relationship – then its fine with me….at 50,Im way over the jealousy game.

  28. Michael J. Harrity says

    I have bad news for Marc. EVERY couple my partner and I have known in our 16 wonderful years together that have not made it have broken up because of the “NO IF”S, ANDS, OR BUTS”! Attitude you have. Play it that way if you like, but you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of heartache.

  29. kujhawker says

    I have been in open relationships before it is not the monogamy that is the key it is the communication and the openess.

    Even among gay couples who are mongamous and committed and take it seriously. I notice that most of them allow for looking at cute guys, even porn of others, and they do it rather openly. You don’t find that openness on the straight side of things.

    Men who look at other women while out with their wife get a slap and dirty looks. I usually nudge my guy and say take a look at him and we appreciate him together.

    I agree it is more a man’s attitude towards thigns then gay vs. straight. That is the benefit of haivng two men in a relationship

  30. says

    Just to clarify a few things:

    1) I didn’t get on any “high horse” about monogamy. I made no value judgment in the post, simply saying I was surprised that Joy would make such a generalization. And I stand by that.

    2) I was careful to note that Joy is a longtime LGBT ally, and that these comments change nothing. So there is no “Joy bashing” from my end. Just answering her call for other views.

    Dan and I have discussed this. There is respect for both views.

    -Jeremy

  31. maxx40 says

    The old saw that men can separate love and sex needs to be retired. This stereotype that men are emotionally vacuous is a bunch of baloney. (Notice too their assumptions: multiple partners=absence of love)

  32. Marco says

    Why do monogamists seem to think monogamy is the only way considering the divorce rate for straights and the open gay couples they probably know?

    Craigslist isn’t only filled with “straight” men seeking a bj, you know.

  33. Walter says

    In my 45 years of experience with many long term gay couples this has been true — but of the long term couples who are still together monogamy is important or became more important at the relationship progressed.

    That said …. many committed MALE gay couples do swing.

    She just should not get on TV and make sweeping generalizations. I believe monogamy is much more important to gay female couples.

  34. Jeff says

    Well lets be honest here guys. You know as well as I that we are much more promiscious then heterosexuals (couples and singles). This is a known fact look at manhunt dudesnude etc all the hook up sites set up for gay men. But in saying this I think we as gay men really should look at how we use sex to meet some internal needs and or pains that we face inside. Not preaching for I am part of the issue as well. I think we should honestly look at the addictive situations we get into and learn how to deal more effectively with our issues. But due to how we have had to do things in the dark starting way long ago it is no surprise that secrecy and hiddeness runs strong among us. And yes I do know there are monogamous couples but they are few and far between when you factor in the internet.

  35. JoshEV says

    I think she’s right. I was in a relationship, and we were communicating and had contact sexually with other people together. Then my partner became very possessive, jealous… but then was also dishonest. Had he communicated, it wouldn’t have been “cheating.” So she’s wrong in the respect that it’s not “cheating” or wouldn’t end a relationship. I think the difference is, that it’s two men that come from the same place. But there’s still such a thing as being unfaithful, even if monogomy is never held up as an ideal.

    I’m friends with a super-open married gay couple that rarely have sex with each other anymore. When i told them my story they said “well, in a gay relationship, there’s really no such thing as “cheating.” Then I told them what happened and they said “yeah… that’s cheating… especially for someone like you who didn’t care about monogomy.”

    I think to say that people just don’t care about affairs is ridiculous, but i think that as a rule, gay couples are up front with eachother enough that monogomy can be negotiated by both together to some degree. It’s simply because they come from the same place.

  36. WindReader says

    for myself, and my partner, monogamy is just not that important to us. we are married and we have a child (although he is an adult now).

    my husband and I are emotionally, socially, financially and intellectually committed to each other. but we both balk at the idea that we have to be everything to each other in terms of our sexuality.

    the fact is that we are not that sexually compatible. so we get some of our needs and desires met outside the relationship or through entertaining a third or another couple. big effin deal.

    I am Pagan and I know a lot of Paganfolk, striaght, gay, lesbian, bisexual and ambisexual who feel the same way. a lot goes into a commitment to partnership. getting a little – or a lot – on the side really is small when you compare it to the many other issues that couples must deal with.

  37. TANK says

    Let’s run with the premise that people weren’t “hardwired” for monogamy. Let’s say that we can isolate the genes that we’ve evolved that are responsible for our inability to be monogamous, or at least the difficulty we have trying to be monogamous. The reason why ethics will never be absorbed by biology, is because even if were to do that, we THEN get to question whether or not that’s right…because is shall never meet ought, and ought shall never meet is.

    Now, let’s say that we had a similar problem with a murder. That we’re hardwired to kill each other with malicious intent, etc. Some would argue that we are… Does that mean that we should make allowances for this reality, and not condemn the practice?

    I don’t mean to imply that murder and nonmonogamy are ethical equivalents, for clearly they’re not. By most people’s metrics, anyway.

    Given that we’re just as genetically similar to chimpanzees as we are to bonobos–and we’re fairly similar to both– and both are pretty promiscuous, it would seem that monogamy isn’t just a female vs. male thing, or a gay vs. straight thing, or anything of that nature. But at the same time, it doesn’t mean that we need to cast aside a desire for monogamy, either.

    That said, open relationships rarely last a long time…especially ones that are gay. I personally don’t care for open relationships, but they’re neutral from a moral perspective, and we don’t need to justify it with biological imperatives that trade on stock cliches of men vs. women without even the slightest understanding of evolutionary biology and biological anthropology.

    And yes, it seems like gay relationships are a lot more fragile than heterosexual relationships and tend not to last very long. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that gay relationships are deemed deviant by the culture at large, and there just aren’t the same broad based support systems (e.g., marriage) for gay couples that there are for straight couples due to discrimination.

  38. says

    The generalizations in the comments here are as outlandish and astounding to me as the generalizations by both Behar and Savage.

    “Gay world” “We Gays” “The Gays” . . .

    My partner and I may be in the minority, but we don’t base our relationship or behaviors on how others conduct theirs; conversely they don’t speak for us. We’ve been monogamous for 15 years and for either of us to go outside of that would be a betrayal. We are two gay men who take monagamy more seriously than most of our straight friends over the years. They’ve all broken up, we’re still together.

    My point being, none of these generalizations are productive in any way. We’re men who are gay, not “a segment of the gay world” or any other nonsense. Not one of you reading or writing these comments has had an identical life experience to anyone else here, and your choices are your own. Own them; don’t excuse them by saying “we” do this and “we” do that.

  39. Mike says

    I am SO TIRED of Dan Savage & his need to speak on and for the entirety of the gay experience. He is one guy, an expert by no means, full of opinions – that’s it. Hurray for him if his views work in his life, but, I completely resent the public-at-large’s notion that he speaks for me.

  40. mnrocko says

    I agree w/Scott and Savage..why do we need to mimic the str8’s? I have so many divorces in my circle of friends and the question I keep getting is how do you guys do it? How can you be friends with your ex? And do things socially with him? I tell them the same thing over and over, men are wired differently then women period. Women look at a man and feel emotionally, men look at women or men and respond sexually…..most of the time, its our dna. I know a lot of you will insist that we have evolved beyond that but you won’t convince me.
    If str8’s wanna bring their divorce rate down they would be more cautious jumping into marriage,discuss sexual pasts and futures, be open with one another and realize the other person is going to be attracted to other people during your marriage or relationship.

    I have been married, I have had 3 relationships with men, the first 2 were monogamus on their part, I tried it but as you know sex in a relationship dwindles, and that is not who I am.
    My current partner and I saw each other for about 3 yrs, I was up front with him. I said if you see someone you are sexually attracted to and you are safe go for it…as long as its just sex…no lunch dates no meeting for a movie. Then its over..Lifes too short to deny yourself and I wasted a lot of years trying to conform. And keep the fu**ing church out of it, that is how this mess started. I can’t believe in this day and age people still buy into that organized religion crap.

    The bottom line is do what works for you 2 but I would not be so cut and dried about the whole 1 on 1 relationship, you can miss out on some pretty great guys..

  41. MikeInSanJose says

    This is a vastly different world than it was when Jesus rode the dinosaurs and one of his daddies laid down the marriage law.

    Traditional marriage vows usually say something about “forsaking all others” or whatever. Gay relationships aren’t weighed down by those archaic marriage rules since we’re still not-quite-human in the eyes of the church that wrote those laws – they don’t apply to us.

    Lots of gays have open relationships. There’s even a lot of straight couples that agree to open relationships where both parties play with others – sometimes together, sometimes on their own. They’re called “Swingers”. When just the man is allowed to go out and play, that’s called a “Mormon”.

    I know gay couples that occasionally bring home playmates. Sometimes both of them play with the boytoy, sometimes just one. I also know two guys who brought a third into their relationship and all three have been going strong for quite a number of years.

    Basically what it boils down to is that the individuals involved have the right to define their own relationship, without any help from James Dobson or Maggie Gallagher or some imaginary puppet-master in the sky.

    And anyone who is having a hissy-fit over anything Joy said is just not being realistic. She may have used an overly-broad brush, but she spoke the truth for A LOT of gay men (and maybe some women?)

  42. Jeff Atwood says

    If heterosexuals couldn’t marry, how important would monogamy be to them? Comparing someone who is not allowed to marry to someone who sees it as a birthright is comparing apples to oranges. How many men would stay faithful if there were no marriage contract?

  43. TANK says

    You sexual outlaws! Keep that torch of sluttiness burning brightly for us gays! SLUT IT UP in your newfangled open relationships. It’s so modern and progressive…breaking down b arriers…you’re radicals, what can i say? Each time you stick your peen in someone who isn’t your partner, you’re telling the man to go f himself! It’s just so…post hoc. Whatever works…except when it doesn’t.

  44. JimSur212 says

    We are not less monogamous because we are gay, we are less monogamous because we’re men. I’m sure lesbians are MORE monogamous than hetero couples. And let’s not buy into the sex negativity of the larger culture. There is nothing wrong with maintaining an open relationship if that is what the two parties agree. If a gay couple wants to enter into a monogamous relationship – wonderful! But we have to be VERY VERY CAREFUL that the gay community not promote monogamy as a somehow morally superior relationship. That would be an incredible betrayal of our movement, which has always been 50% about rights and 50% about sexual liberation. It would be a tragic end to our movement if it became “see straight people, were just like you”. I DON’T WANT TO BE JUST LIKE THEM. EVER.

  45. daftpunkydavid says

    there are many issues at play here, and most of them have been evoked already (the fact that most gays cannot legally marry, with all the duties societies adjoins to that, and therefore comparing them to married heterosexuals is difficult; that homosexual men are, well, men, and that men are allegedly more sex positive than women; etc).

    i would like to add age. i haven’t read many people mention it, but i think it’s really important. i’m in my mid-20’s, and my personal gay awakening has not been one of reaction against an oppressive heteronormative majority like that of so many of my elder gays; i thank them for that, for, without them, i could not be buying into the bourgeois and yet infinitely human desire of being “like everyone else” while at the same time claiming my individuality/originality.

    i do think that for many guys my age, it’s more important to have a “conventional” relationship, one that fits with the mores, the customs, the rules, the imperatives dictated by a cultural framework, and by our family and friends, most of whom are not gay (well, in my case anyway). whether that’s to be lauded is arguable, but that’s the reality for many of us. and maybe it would be useful to look at this “monogamy” question through this lens as well.

  46. TANK says

    “i do think that for many guys my age, it’s more important to have a “conventional” relationship, one that fits with the mores, the customs, the rules, the imperatives dictated by a cultural framework, and by our family and friends, most of whom are not gay (well, in my case anyway).”

    I see that on the surface, but the biggest spike in seroconversion rates isn’t coming from the “older” generations, but the younger. It’s also useful to get the average age of men using online hookup sites before making this assessment (or even the age distributions).

  47. Scott says

    @John

    Be careful that you don’t pee yourself with all that righteous indignation. I hear hand wringing can be hell on the bladder.

    I’m not a slut. Compared to most of my straight friends I’m a fucking nun. My partner and I do not have an open relationship (Although I have no problem with people that do) and we consider ourselves monogamous.

    That being said, we have done the adult thing and talked about the fact that “things happen”. We have rules in place, and limits placed on them. If he slips up, it won’t be the end of the relationship because we’re not a couple of fucking stupid little girls buying into the Cinderella fantasy.

  48. SeaMonster says

    Joy is right… for every monogamous couple out there, there’s a bazillion others in “open” relationships (or not so open).
    She never said it was a BAD thing either… it’s our own insecurities that put a negative twist on it.

  49. says

    She’s right, but it’s unfortunate that the H8’rs will use her words out of context (they excel at that) to make us look bad.

    Joy, darling — next time you want to help, don’t.

  50. Mark says

    This isn’t about male/female, gay/straight, a system of belief, or about personal preference. Couples engage each other in the same ways, regardless of ALL of these things.
    It is a GROSS simplification to assume that women, men, gay or straight do ANYTHING differently in a relationship. There is such a varied expression of sexuality in love relationships that ANY attempt to classify behavior is a futile effort. We love, we lose, we move on. The ONLY thing that can be said of couples who DO explore sexually outside the relationship is that they are 1. cheating or 2.communicating about their sexual needs. I don’t think you can make ANY generalizations about sexual behavior without stumbling onto a logical fallacy!

  51. Snottyboy says

    Dan Savage, as usual, is right. Period. A little fresh dick on the side shouldn’t be a deal breaker. In fact, it should be a deal sweetener.

  52. John says

    Re: John

    That’s some messed up sh*t and the kind of thing only some 70 year old queen who had grown up repressed would say. Choosing to be in a monogamous relationship because it’s what someone wants for their own, personal emotional needs isn’t an attempt to mimic straights to get them to like gays better. And one “slip up” would be a big deal.

    I’m nearly 30 and have been with the same guy since we were both 18. We went to college together, built our company together, and decided about two months into our relationship that we weren’t going to see anyone else. No one – gay, straight, or bisexual – factored into that decision but us. The only thing I cared about was that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man and based upon knowing myself (and he knowing himself), that was the arrangement that would bring us the most joy.

    There’s nothing wrong with people who want to live in open relationships (I’m just not one of them). The difference between that healthy decision (“I’m going to live in an open relationship according to these rules…”) and what you stated is that you are deriving your entire identity *relative* to what “straight” people do. Being opposed to something simply because some other group is for it is still a pathetic, derivative existence.

  53. Scott says

    Can we stop fucking saying that we shouldn’t generalize? Why the fuck shouldn’t we? It doesn’t make your ‘unconventional’ relationship any less valid, it just makes it different.

    Speaking in generalities is how we figure out what is going on in the world without having a stroke due to information overload. I’d rather not sit through the names of every gay couple that isn’t hung up on monogamy, just tell me that there is a lot of them. Even anecdotal generalities are okay. I’m smart enough to know that there is an exception to every goddamn rule.

  54. Randy says

    It’s a lie to say that gays (or gay men) take monogamy “less seriously” than straights. Rather, we just handle it better. My partner and I have to my knowledge been monogamous for over 15 years. But the world would not end if one or the other (or both) of us had a fling, within certain boundaries. I think this reflects a level of maturity and respect for monogamy that it would do the straight world some good to pay attention to.

  55. John says

    re: Scott

    That’s fine. If you read what I wrote, there’s no indignation because I didn’t make any moral judgments. I really don’t care (or see a problem) if you want to have orgies in truck stop bathrooms as long as it makes you happy and everyone is a willing participant.

    What I think is unhealthy is defining actions *relative to* those of an abstract group such as “the straights”. In other words, “I’m for this because the straights are against it”. That’s how your original comment read. That sort of world view means that the entire value structure is a derivative of “the straights” and measured against, opposed to, or in support of what “they” do. That is not a rational way of looking at the world.

  56. Ben says

    One commenter said gays “can separate emotion from screwing”.

    Um, not so much.

    In my experience, I know so many guys who are torn up and in pain over having screwed and now feeling screwed…because they had feelings for the guy. This turns them temporarily cynical. Over the long term, if they aren’t able to process this in a healthy manner, they will become negative nasty queens.

  57. Ben says

    And as for the great topic of whether this is age-related too, the follow up commenter noted the true statistics about higher rates of seroconversation among the younger generation. But that’s also including a whole mass of single people. I’d think that, sure, there are a lot of partnered people looking online–whether they’re in open or monogamous relationships, whether they’re cheating or not–but seroconversion rates apply to single as well as coupled partners, so you have to take that into account when you bring up the issue of seroconversion and the young generation. This topic has mostly centered on partnered couples, and hasn’t really brought in the other concept of single people. So it may be like comparing apples to oranges when you decide to look at seroconversion rates, unless you only look at statistics on seroconversion rates among partnered young couples vs. partnered older couples.

  58. Marc says

    Umm Zach and the rest of you, I posted about my personal experience and how I feel about monogamy.

    Do what you want, if it’s what you want to do. If it differs from my take on it, you do not speak or represent me in any way.

  59. David in Houston says

    I agree with Marc (pg. 1) and John (right above). The problem with what Joy said is it falls right into the playbook of people like Maggie Gallagher: Gays aren’t like straights… they don’t take their relationships seriously like straight couples… that’s what makes heterosexual marriage so special… that’s why they shouldn’t be allowed to destroy the sanctity of marriage.

  60. daftpunkydavid says

    @tank, your point is well taken; but i fail to understand how it correlates to the discussion.

    are the newly, and disproportionately young seroconverted people all or mostly in relationships? (i ask b/c your point seems to be that b/c a disproportionate amount of the people who seroconvert are young, my proposition is wrong; can’t single people also seroconvert?)

    and is it impossible for the newly, and disproportionately young seroconverted people to now be in relationships wherein they strive to be monogamous or conventional? (b/c if we don’t know when they seroconvert and when they’re in relationships, we can’t really make a statement about a possible correlation, and even less causality; the fact that people come out and go through an extended, promiscuous and behaviorally possibly dangerous adolescence versus their views on monogamy and relationships are two different things)

  61. TANK says

    Perhaps. But keep in mind, the poster was talking about an attitude perceived to be widely held amongst the younger generation (wanting to be in a monogamous relationship, whether single or in one). So maybe in principle, but not in practice. 😉

  62. Zach says

    “Do what you want, if it’s what you want to do. If it differs from my take on it, you do not speak or represent me in any way.”

    Funny, I don’t remember making any claims of the sort. You stated that you had a problem with Behar/Savage’s statement, and you’re wrong in positive terms (because many many gay partners either practice open relationships). Savage never claimed to “speak” for all gay men, he argued that most gay men operate their relationships on different terms.

    Settle down and stop being so defensive.

  63. Rolph says

    Have many coupled gay friends: short and long term together, diff socioeconomic status, diff parts of the country, diff races: all of them are either in open relationships or frequently hook up with others together. Even know a guy in a stable 3way relationship.

  64. Bob says

    Ratings stunt.

    Opens with “My other show on (network) which is on a night…(time slot)…”

    Leads into controversial hearsay conversation, for which she supresses a smirk & Whoopi and Elisabeth look at her with “are you kidding me” eyes.

  65. TANK says

    And of course you’ll just get correlation. But there is a correlation between promiscuous MSM and seroconversion. Of course, there’s more to that story like whether or not protected sex was practiced–though, there’s also a correlation between rampant promiscuity and unprotected sex between MSM…and people have seroconverted who’ve used condoms.

    But the point is that if this desire for more traditional relationships was so broad based amongst young people who are coming out at increasingly younger ages (I’m 29, for full disclosure), that attitude seems at odds with the rampant promiscuity that is at least partly responsible for the spike in seroconversion (it’s very plausible, anyway), don’t you think? I think it’s a classic case of cognitive dissonance…or sexual dissonance, anyway.

  66. micheal says

    i think she only meant that we are less likely to break up over infidelity than straight couples (though she had a hard time articulating it) and i believe she’s right

    i don’t think it’s because we take monogamy any less seriously than straight couples, i think it’s because we realize that the “love” in our relationships is more valuable than the “sex” in our relationships

  67. Jonathan says

    75 percent of straight couples aren’t monogamous. They just lie about it. And that’s been documented. I’ve met one truly monogamous gay couple in the last ten years. All the other monogamous couples seem to have one monogamous partner and one who decides not to be but can’t be honest because it wouldn’t go over very well with the other.

    I’ve also found that those who have zero tolerance for indiscretions are usually the guiltier party and usually don’t trust themselves very much (gay or straight).

    That being said I’ve been in both monogamous and open relationships. My current marriage (7 years in October, got married in Ontario) is open and the best one I’ve ever had. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other and we need to accept that. People who get all indignant should be shoved out a window.

  68. says

    It’s very hard for me to make a call about generational differences until the generation below me ages a bit more. In my 20s I wanted to be in a completely monogamous relationship with all the trimmings of domesticity that filled my head. I’m 36 now and while my take on this whole thing is I tend to default to mostly monogamous behavior within LTRs, I have a less strict idea about what constitutes an ideal relationship for me (other than mutual interests, love, communication, and respect . . . and sex of course).

    I don’t know if 20somethings desire for a more “conventional” lifestyle is a generational trend or something born out of youthful idealism that will shift and adapt once life throws some hard knocks at them.

    My last relationship was technically open, but I never figured out how with the demands of my job and my artistic career and seeing friends, and spending time with my then boyfriend, anyone found the time to arrange for and have said extra-curricular sex? It really would have involved a lot of planning for me and then it really starts to feel really sneaky. And that makes me uncomfortable.

    I’ve also been single for a while now and for the past year I’ve pretty much mostly gotten hit on by attached guys in relationships (both online and off) and I often found the whole approach to be very sneaky as well–as in they would engage with me via conversation and we’d hit it off and see there was mutual attraction and talk about getting together and THEN they’d reveal they were taken. The last time that happened, I got very very very very angry.

    Lastly, even though men (and women too as many of my female friends keep insisting) can separate love and sex, I find that as I get older I have to at least be very fond of someone to have sex with them. Purely physical sex with no emotional connection starts to play nasty games with my self-esteem (as in I start objectifying everyone and myself in very superficial ways) . . . so I have no idea how I could enter an open relationship at this part of my life knowing that about myself . . . but I’ll cross that bridge when I find someone to be in a relationship with.

  69. Zach says

    “Do what you want, if it’s what you want to do. If it differs from my take on it, you do not speak or represent me in any way.”

    Also, I should reiterate: I take monogamy seriously; I have never been in an open relationship, have never contemplated one, and would break up with anyone (and have) who cheated on me.

  70. daftpunkydavid says

    at tank, lol, sexual dissonance indeed. and although i laugh about tit, it’s pretty sad indeed that guys our age are oblivious to the threat posed by hiv/aids.

    but i would still argue that what guys do when they want to experiment their newly (or not so newly) found self (call it their gay puberty, or queer adolescence, whatever) includes sexual experimentation with other men, and such behavior can be dangerous and lead to seroconversion, especially if you think you’re invulnerable, like adolescents are known to do.

    but your behavior then does not mean that you want to live in an open relationship. your behavior then does not translate into more indifference towards monogamy. which is why i disagree with what you wrote earlier, for the simple reason that i’m not sure that those young guys who seroconvert, do so while they are coupled, or even that their seroconversion tells us anything about what they’d like their relationship (if they had one) to be like.

  71. says

    I’m inclined to side with Dan and Joy here, and think that every couple needs to work this out for themselves.

    Having been in an open relationship for twelve years now, what I’ve never understood is why so many gay men seem to be threatened by non-monogamy. We’ve seen a little bit of that right here in the comments.

    I’ve been told that my relationship isn’t “real,” that my partner is nothing more than a fuck buddy, that I’ll never know love until I embrace strict monogamy. Verbal attacks worthy of our worst opponents.

    For a long time I couldn’t figure out why anyone else would be so invested in my relationship. I finally came to the conclusion that they weren’t, but simply needed to put down any relationship that doesn’t conform to their ideal.

  72. buno says

    I’m also in a happily monogamous same-sex relationship. Have been for 12 years. Neither being 2 men or being gay makes us or anyone “prone” to screwing around on each other. It’s a choice that people make when they enter a relationship. Some hetero couple choose to have an open relationship. Some homo couples choose to have monogomous ones. I’m so sick of anyone telling anyone what is “normal”. Nothing is normal. Everything is unique.

  73. TANK says

    Alright, that sounds pretty good (re: larry david). So to recap, what I understand is that you think that when we’re dealing with a gay man who’s just come out of the closet, or a newly minted gay, he experiments by having lots of casual sex without an interest in a relationship. That could be the norm, and I’ll not dispute it. But you say it does not reflect his beliefs/desires about relationships he’d like to be in one way or the other. On that note, I dsagree, because you’re bracketting beliefs/desires from behaviors (behaviors include talking and language), when I don’t think that’s possible. Instead, what we have is a person who doesn’t want a monogamous relationship, an open relationship, or any kind of relationship. So such a person certainly doesn’t want a more traditional relationship (whatever that could mean)…and he’s young. So does he believe what he says? Maybe he wants to believe it, but doeson’t. So, it seems that it is a front in that scenario, or a case of dissonance.

    But more to the point, I don’t believe that the newly minted gays who are promiscuously experimenting with their sexuality are responsible for the spike in the seroconversion rate. I think that this is primarily coming from gay men in their early thirties/ late twenties, who largely aren’t just out. Of course, I don’t know this for a fact, but it’s not an altogether unfounded hunch.

    But no, behavior does indicate belief, because all belief is is more behavior (very broadly defined).

  74. says

    David in KC: Since I’m quoted in this article, let me say that I in no way have those views on non-monogamy. I could not be less value neutral about this subject. Yes, I’m monogamous and married, which works for me. But I would never push that on anyone! And if you have been subjected to those kind of comments, I find that deplorable (just as the “mimicking breeders” anti-monogamy rhetoric is).

    Not sure how this turned into me being “monogamy or else!” My sole point in commenting on Joy was that I found her words too oversimplified/generalized, as well as potentially dangerous. It felt like she was putting us in an “other” category that certainly doesn’t fit my life, or the lives of many others that I know. No category is a monolith, and I felt that hers tipped a little too much toward a sweeping generalization.

    But she, a longtime ally, very fully acknowledged that this was her opinion and that she might be wrong. So that’s what I did: gave my two cents. Not in opposition to monogamy or in opposition to Dan (with whom I’ve discussed this) — just in some sense of pushback to one certain TV quip. Fortunately, Joy says hundreds more every day that I find spot-on.

  75. Adam says

    I definitely think it is a man/woman thing. I saw a guy on the Today show the other morning basically warning women that men are going to cheat or at least want to, so get over it or figure out how you are going to deal with it. Pretty shocking for straight middle-American morning TV.

  76. says

    I think Dan Savage is probably talking out of his own experience and Jeremy Hooper is talking out of his own experience. Possibly they both think their own experience should define “gay” for everyone else.

  77. JESUS says

    Hmmmm wonder where she got the idea that gays are not monogamous? Maybe it’s all the cruise sites, bathhouses, park-bathroom sex, and general embarrassing conduct by gays. I am at times ashamed to be gay. When are we as a ‘community’ going to start talking about our accurate stereotype portrayal?

  78. Den says

    Doesn’t it all depend on what is really meant by monogamy. generally speaking gay men can indulge in and understand the desire for sex for reasons of pure uncomplicated lust and release. Completely seperate from sex as part of a relationship and intimacy. Gay men are more likely to tolerate their partner ‘copping off with a gorgeous hunk’ in a completely impersonal ‘cruisy’ way because it doesn’t infringe at all on their personal monogamous love relationship. It’s not a betrayal, it’s not ‘infidelity’ They know that it’s just sex.

    By and large women really do not have the same impersonal attitudes to sex to seperate from intimacy and heterosexual men will not expect their women to either.

  79. Dback says

    I think she’s absolutely right, and it’s not a gay/straight thing, but a man/woman thing. Men are just wired differently. Can we (men) be monogamous? Yes, but we’re not wired to be so.

  80. Jason says

    I would really appreciate a more open dialogue about this issue.

    I’ve been with my partner for 12 years, since I was in my senior year in high school. We have been almost entirely monogamous, but have brought in friends for thirds on very rare occasions… really only two different people at different times.

    Because of the length and stability of our relationship, I feel a great deal of pressure from society–both from our gay friends and from our straight friends–who see us as the model of a long term couple. I realize that no one asked me to nail myself onto the cross like this, but the reality is that it gets lonely. I love my partner and have no intention of leaving him or cheating on him, ever. But I also am a bit sad when I see how much fun all of my friends (and I mean, ALL) have by being able to explore more than one side of their sexual personality.

    I have no real sense of how many people are like us or how many people are not. Some people would not consider us monogamous (since technically, we’ve had some rare transgressions) but I mostly do, since that’s basically how we behave in our default state 99.9% of the time.

    This is getting a bit off topic, but this seems like a dark secret that even gay society doesn’t like to talk about. It feels very lonely because telling any friends about this situation or about my concerns around it is almost like coming out–like admitting that we’re somehow failing at something I don’t really feel like we’re failing at.

  81. Eric says

    If Elizabeth had said this, “the community” would be lynching her. Why are we giving Joy a pass?

  82. Zlick says

    ok, there’s nothing wrong with monogamy, and nothing wrong with mutually-agreeable non-monogamy. Sheesh. There are plenty of non-monogamous straight relationships (I was in one for many years), but I’d go out on a limb to say that boys are more likely to be ok with that than girls. Thus, with gay relationships having twice as many boys as straight ones … well, you get the point.

    I don’t think anyone’s trying to make any style of relationship “wrong.” To each their own … and I would hope gay folk, of all people, would adhere to that philosophy.

    It didn’t seem to me that Joy was stating any of this as fact. She presented it as something she heard and opened it up for discussion. Great.

  83. Touchydpad says

    How are statements that gays take monogamy less seriously than straights not constitute systemic discrimination and generalization of a group of people. These viewpoints are indicative of the hidden societal norms that lead people to believe that gays as a whole are prone to promiscuity moreso than straight people. People that believe these stereotypes allow for discrimination to occur by conceding to the majority group’s negative classification of a minority class. This just shows how hard it is for us to argue for marriage equality when the majority of Americans can without so much as giving it a second thought as agree to these points of view.

  84. MarkDC says

    I dream of “outside sexual contact” with Dan Savage at least once a day.

    TANK: really like reading your comments.

  85. says

    I’ll echo the comments of ZLICK and others.

    I was pleased that the 4 women (even Elizabeth!) had a reasonably adult and non-sensationalistic discussion of monogamy with few easy judgments thrown around. Sure, generalizations were made, but compared to the generalizations that are often made about us (see: Uganda, right-wing zealots etc.) these generalizations weren’t far off base or intended to belittle.

    I think it’s safe to say that men are less into monogamy than women, and that straight men would be more apt to stray from monogamy if they could do so as easily as gay men. And there are exceptions–everyone needs to define normal for themselves.

    From my own relationship experience, honesty is the key component. I don’t mind a guy who wants to have sex with others, but I hate lying cheaters. Gay men have been more open about monogamy vs. non-monogamy in relationships in part because no one expected us to be monogamous until recently. It will be interesting to see if and how that changes as more gay couples are allowed to marry. A 20-something gay person today has a different lens to look thru than a 20-something did 10 or 20 years ago.

    As for our alleged sluttiness hurting our chances for marriage equality. Well, straight couples don’t have much to get on their moral high horses about. They have every right to define the rules and boundaries of their relationships, and so should we.

  86. FLS says

    Joy Behar and Dan Savage aren’t pro-polyamory. They’re both Libras, which means they’re both indecisive and non-committal as hell! Date one, and you’ll understand. Savage rants incessantly on his podcast about this issue just to disguise his absolute fear that he has made the wrong decision.

  87. Scott says

    But Elizabeth didn’t say it, Joy did. She’s a friend of teh ghey.

    I’m a little alarmed at the lack of comprehension skills on display here. Joy was clearly saying that gays don’t fetishize monogamy the way straight folks tend to do. She was NOT saying we don’t take our commitments seriously.

  88. So Left I'm Right says

    What’s ludicrous is the view that straight people, particularly those who have the right to “marry” that we do not, are not in fact frequently serial cheaters. Tiger Woods, anyone? As though The Straight, married or not, are not promiscuous and kinky and everything else. It’s a stupid and false assumption that it’s just The Gay that is inherrently nonmonogomous.

  89. bbg372 says

    Monogamists view a relationship as a joint venture in which the partners agree to form a new entity together.

    Non-monogamists view a relationship as a strategic alliance in which the partners agree to cooperatively pursue a set of common goals while maintaining sexual independence.

    The former chooses a partner on the basis of how he views relationships, whereas the latter chooses a relationship on the basis of how he views his partner.

    One who does not hold that his partner is worth controlling his impulses, denying his immediate pleasure, or for reserving his intimacy does not hold him or relationships in much esteem.

  90. Happily Married says

    @BBG372: “One who does not hold that his partner is worth controlling his impulses, denying his immediate pleasure, or for reserving his intimacy does not hold him or relationships in much esteem.”

    But that whole controlling impulses/denying pleasure/reserving intimacy thing comes from religious BS.
    What if I don’t WANT my husband to control his impulses, but love him so much that I want him to do whatever makes him happy?
    And I’m not so insecure that I need him to “reserve his intimacy” to prove that I’m NUMBER ONE.
    Intimacy takes many forms. Having sex with someone from outside our relationship does NOT compromise our “intimacy”. I dare say it helps it. The fact that he is confident enough in himself and our bond that he doesn’t try to control me in order to soothe his insecurities makes him extremely sexy, attractive, and desirable.
    16 years together and going strong. By far the best, least stressful, happiest relationship I’ve ever had.
    Every gay male couple we know who have lasted 10 years or longer (and some as long as 40) have some sort of “open” arrangement.

  91. Happily Married says

    Denying Pleasure??? What kind of way is that to live? If my husband got killed in an earthquake tomorrow, I can assure you it would not be comforting to think of how many times he denied himself pleasure over the last year. I would much rather think “I am so glad he got to hook up with that Australian Lifeguard he met when we were on the cruise ship. He really enjoyed that and life is too short. Good for him.”

  92. brt374 says

    Funny how if Hasselbeck would’ve said this, it might’ve made for a scandalous cover story in USA Today, but since Behar said it, people agree. I agree and I’m a gay Republican–go figure.

  93. Bryan says

    If we’re going to generalize, monogamy is a gender issue, not one of orientation. Regardless of whether you believe it’s inborn or inculcated, throughout history and across cultures, women are far more likely than men to regard monogamy as symbolic of commitment. Historically, men’s interest in monogamy has largely been about how to inflict it on others, as an expression of dominance.

    The LGBTQ issue here is not that gay men are often uninterested in monogamy, it’s that we’re disinterested parties in the war between the sexes. In fact, our relationships pose other, unique challenges to which straight people are generally oblivious.

  94. Terry Miller says

    She’s right, on balance. And we need to stop trying to win things by turning away from the truth (not that we should headline this). Still, if monogamy were a requirement for marriage, many heterosexual traditional marriages would founder as well. Marriage is about rights, responsibilities and duties; it has [not recently] legally equated to monogamy.

    Hey perhaps she’s a Muslim! :)

  95. says

    Although I’ve heard what she says before from other gay guys, it’s not the case for me. Some might call me naive, but I’m totally pro-monogamy for me, because otherwise it just hurts too much. I do think this differs among different guys, and for my own well-being, I hope there are some gay guys out there who want to stay true to one guy, otherwise I’m just hopeless!

  96. KSat says

    Jeremy Hooper’s reference to Tiger and Jon&Kate’s marriages does nothing to disprove Joy Behar’s statemement. These hetero marriages BROKE UP, with adultery as a major reason.

  97. CHUD says

    I don’t think men in general are able to be monogamous. I am one of those rare gay men who will only be in a relationship if it’s monogamous, HOWEVER, if after a few years the sex dwindles, I wouldn’t mind so bad if my bf had no strings attached safe sex with someone else. I would just feel too much pity for the horny, brainless guy who is a life support system for a penis. That’s how men are, period. I, on the other hand am superior to most men because I don’t have urges to step outside the relationship, ever, because I LOVE, TRUST AND RESPRECT MYSELF and I have a great attention span and enough other things going on in my life to keep me occupied. When ANYONE has to have sex with multiple partners, this is called sex addiction. It’s an illness that a lot of men, straight and gay have. I do not suffer from this addiction. Poor, sweet dumb men… I think they really do try. :(