Study: 50 Percent of Gay Couples Openly Not Monogamous

With regard to the Joy Behar conversation earlier this week, the NYT reports:


A study to be released next month is offering a rare glimpse inside
gay relationships and reveals that monogamy is not a central feature for
many. Some gay men and lesbians argue that, as a result, they have
stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships. And while that
may sound counterintuitive, some experts say boundary-challenging gay
relationships represent an evolution in marriage — one that might point
the way for the survival of the institution.

New research at San
Francisco State University reveals just how common open relationships
are among gay men and lesbians in the Bay Area. The Gay Couples Study
has followed 556 male couples for three years — about 50 percent of
those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge
and approval of their partners.

That consent is key. “With
straight people, it’s called affairs or cheating,” said Colleen Hoff,
the study’s principal investigator, “but with gay people it does not
have such negative connotations.”

The study also found open gay
couples just as happy in their relationships as pairs in sexually
exclusive unions, Dr. Hoff said. A different study, published in 1985,
concluded that open gay relationships actually lasted longer.

Many Successful Gay Marriages Share an Open Secret [nyt]

(image source)


  1. maxx40 says

    ….only in the Bay Area. Your headline makes it seem like a national survey or something, as does the NY Times. The Bay Area uh represents the Bay Area.

  2. Brian says

    “Couples”, not “married gays and lesbians”, but couples. Also, the study pool was taken from San Fran.

  3. J. Bocca says

    Um I would NEVER be in an open relationship. I’m way too jealous. I always curse out “couples” looking on A4A. I think it’s disgusting. If you wanna fuck everyone and their mother then do it but dont have a “Boyfriend” on top of that. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  4. Loganwu says

    This is SF, which is more liberal than most other places. AND it only followed 556 couples, couples who volunteered to be in the study. How many gay couples did they leave out? also they shouldve compared sf gay couples with sf straight couples. How many of sf straight couples are open? I think if you made the comparisons the difference would hardly be stark.

  5. chris says

    Well, I was in an 11 year relationship that was open for a period- the results were kind of a disaster BECAUSE it did not come from any kind of honest place. I’m sure it does and can work for people depending on the circumstances. I do agree with the study that the institution does need to change in order to survive. Think it really depends on both people IN it really wanting to be open rather than one partner going along as a means to keep some sort of relationship happening. I know couples that are inseperable and those that take seperate vacations- both seem happy.

  6. stephen says

    a few things…
    1. I’m fearful of this study being used against us
    2. It’s not new that people (Gy or St8)have relations o/s of couple- it’s just that gays seem willing to acknowledge. Not to be cliche, but european couples…
    3. I’m a little surprised at the judgmental tone above- it’s just sex. Am I missing something? Don’t be too quick to co-sign a straight/religious narrative that doesn’t necessarily relate to you.
    PS: sorry for the long post; I hate long posts!

  7. crispy says

    Of the 278 non-monogamous couples in that study, I bet you’d find 278 different sets of rules.

    Only play together.
    As long as we’re in the same room.
    As long as we’re in the same building.
    As long as we’re in the same state.
    Only on vacations.
    Only when my boyfriend’s out of town.
    Just don’t bring anyone home.
    As long as you don’t know his name.
    Anything goes but kissing (the Pretty Woman rule)

    Etc, etc, etc.

  8. Guy from OH says

    If you guys think that such relationships are limited to SF, you’re kidding yourselves. My husband and I have been together for 20 years, we’re legally married in Canada, plan to be together for the rest of our lives AND we have an open relationship. And we live in Ohio, not SF. In fact, we do very happily have our cake and eat it too.

    I am the first to admit that it’s something that not every couple can handle. It requires absolute honesty and trust. Jealousy to me is a sign distrust. And a distrustful relationship is a weak one, whether it monogamous or not.

    But just because it’s not for you, where do you get off judging? We don’t “fuck everyone but our mother,” but we do occasionally hook up with a third guy or another couple. It’s fun when we do it, AND it definitely also has kept the sex that we have together hot and fun. You guys sound like a bunch of gay haters. I think your judgment is narrow minded and sad.

  9. ggreen says

    I think if more couples took the physical aspect of their relationship more seriously, there wouldn’t be such a need for constant outside stimulation. Most couples I know really stop trying after about the first 2 years and become roommates/sisters and ultimately back biting bitches to live with.

  10. johnny says

    These results are very regional and hugely circumspect. I doubt that couples surveyed in Minneapolis would have the same results. Only 556 couples in a market that has a reputation for sexual liberty and is argueably “gay mecca” does not represent the country as a whole by any stretch of the imagination.

    As in all studies, data can be skewed to match desired results. I’d like to see the questions’ wording.

    And, yes, this type of info going out could really damage the fight for marriage. It could be argued that same sex marriage actually dissuades “open” situations, however.

  11. cb says

    My partner and I have been together 4 yrs. We sat down and talked about this in a very honest way. We love each other. We are committed to each other. But we also realize that things happen. So we came up with what works for US. There is no reason to end a relationship because a hook-up occasionally. As as long as we are both safe,it’s doesn’t become a regular thing with someone and there is no emotional involvement, we are both cool. I think to look at it,for us anyway,any other way is narrow minded. I am actually surprised as well its worked.

  12. Disgusted American says

    ..I look at it this ..for me anyways….at 49,50 in July – with more yrs behind me then in front….my partner of 10yrs and I have a semi-open relationship…BUT – IF we were younger,and were raising kids…I’d want to be Married & Monogomous…I think the younger generation coming up, which NOW HAS the opportunity / and Dreams that “someday” they too can meet someone fall in love and marry…will lead to more Monogomous relationships for gays/lesbians……growing up in the 60’s & 70’s,80’s….it wasn’t even Imagined the WE could someday marry…..I think THAT makes ALL the Difference too.

  13. mnrocko says

    This is something I have been preaching to my str8 friends forever! It’s natural to look, its natural to lust, and sex is different then love! It’s been refined to be one and the same but it is different, and yes you can have both but you can separate the two without meaning anything.
    Religion more then anything has been the front burner for monogamy, religion….which keeps people in check, in control and was developed imo, just for that purpose..if more marriages and relationships were open there would be fewer divorces in this country.
    It is not a black and white issue there are gray areas,humans are mammals and not monogamous ones.
    If you want to be in an exclusive relationship in marriage or civil union and it works for you then great! What I am saying is you both need to figure this out first and if someone strays be more forgiving and reasonable and not black an white about it! It really is human nature.
    My partner and I are open, not at our age it really matters any more, (53) and it has been the best relationship that I have been in!
    I have been in a traditional marriage, (and probably would still be in it if she was open to sharing) and a total of 3 gay relationships including the one I am in now..The first two were exclusive, with the premise, if you cheat you are gone! (not my idea) Of course when I ended it with the first one then he thought maybe we should try the “open” concept but by then I had lost any emotion for him in that way. The second was a long distance off and on again romance..The current partner and I have been together 13 yrs, I told him in the start that if he wanted to have sex w/someone he was attracted to, to go for it, just keep emotion out of it. People who are in relationships have different needs usually more then the other can fulfill and I did not want him to deny himself.
    I know the traditionalists are going to dismiss and deny this letter but i am just trying to get others to view relationships a little differently. It’s not just the San Fran area, its all over. And just because someone has an open relationship doesn’t make it bad or works for a lot of people and all of this should be sorted out BEFORE you decide to be in a relationship!
    Like it or not men are different! I am still friends with my exes, still do things with them, we just don’t connect on that level.
    My current partner and I love one another, love our dogs, our home, just like everyone else but we separate sex and love, we see the gray areas and for us it works.
    Maybe most people are romantics and that is why studies like this are looked at in disdain?
    Anyway my point being, the first 3 letters seem to represent that black an white world that religion and the government would like everyone to live in, and sometimes you have to figure out what works best for yourself.

  14. jamesNYC says

    @ Brian. Bitter much? Who can can judge another person’s relationship? Live and let live.

  15. charle says

    what a stupid idea. what a set back for hay people all over the world. they take a study in gayest S.F and use this as a guide to the health of gay relationships ? IDIOTS ! this is like gas on an open fire. It will make happy gay people ( or even not so happy ones ) think that being in a open relationship is the answer..not ! typical that we would shoot outselves in the foot with a crazy idea like this. it makes the world think we are trash and sluts , exactly what we have fough against for years ! BE ASHAMED OF THIS STUDY FOOLISH

  16. Taylor says

    Well…it’s nice to see that being judgmental holier than thou ahole isn’t just limited to those who are straight.

    All that matters is what works for the people involved.

    Face the truth girls, men think about relationships differently than women. Gay men think about relationships differently than straight men. And there are many gay men who are perfectly fine with open relationships…one size does not fit all.

    Why should anyone have to conform to some mythical ideal of what a relationship is supposed to be? It’s no one’s business other than those involved in that particular relationship. Be it, two, three, or more people.

    You judgemental bitches have fallen into the trap of thinking that only the “straight” ideal of what a relationship should be…is actually true. SUCKERS!

  17. Guy from OH says

    Brian, again with the judgment. Why do you care enough to throw personal insults around at someone that you don’t know? Maybe a little jealous? Don’t worry. Soon this talk of non-monogamy will be forgotten and you and your partner can get back to your FAR SUPERIOR life full of rigid thinking.

  18. says

    I don’t think there’s anyone wrong with stating you wouldn’t want to be in an open relationship, but branding open relationships as disgusting and Brian saying it means one is not man enough for the other…that comes off as pathetically threatened.

    The comment about jealousy = distrust doesn’t work for me either. I think jealousy has more to do with your own self-esteem, so that you’re jealous because you think you’re not good enough or jealous because you think you’re way better and don’t get why you’re not enough. Anyway, I’m a proudly jealous person who still thinks (1) monogamy is demonstrably less an issue overall for gay men than it is for straight couples (who are not as monogamous as they pretend!); (2) monogamy or open relationships are up to the people in them.

  19. Observer1000 says

    Since same-sex marriage is banned in the US (DOMA) comparing gay relationships to straight ones in America is like comparing apples to oranges.

  20. chris says

    JAMESNYC sums it all up! My choices( and having lived through an open relationship that was DISHONEST not sure that would be something I would look for again) are simply mine, that is it. Think we have to stop thinking every gay relationship needs to be a poster child for some white bread fabrication of how the rest of society thinks we should behave. ALL relationships, gay, straight, bi whatever are different- and no one knows how they work/don’t work unless in them!Live and let live- AMEN!

  21. says

    How could you take a vow of marriage and then break it? What does that say about you as a person? That your word is not worth much. Getting married isn’t, or oughtn’t to be, a fun way to force bureaucrats to be nice to us, or get a tax advantage or a ‘piece of paper.’ If you don’t want to live up to your vows, hey, don’t get married. But if you do, either admit it was all a big game to you, or lie, or get a divorce. You don’t want to be married to each other if you can’t take the part about ‘forsaking all others’ seriously so why pretend?

  22. Jubal H says

    Yeah, and many gay men in SF like to do drugs when having sex as well as cruise the sex clubs. Is this what you wanted for yourself when you were growing up?

  23. Taylor says

    “If you don’t want to live up to your vows, hey, don’t get married.”

    Which vows are those Paul?

    “Forsaking all others”? Sure, if it works for you by all means…take that vow. But, there is no standard wedding vow. Or haven’t you heard…people can write their own now. It’s a whole new world out there.

  24. scientitian says

    What’s with the open relationship animosity? Almost EVERY couple (gay and straight) that I’ve known to be monogamous has also had some sort of cheating/indiscretion incident that threatened the entire foundation of their relationship. Guess what? It’s JUST SEX, and for a lot of people, “open” probably excludes penetration.
    The main reason I’m with my partner is because we share a very strong emotional connection – making out or getting a BJ from someone else doesn’t jeopardize that, because we are HONEST with each other.

  25. says

    I don’t understand the conflation between “marriage” and “monogamy”. As far as I know marriage vows are not 1 size fits all. Many people write their own (I could be wrong, but is there a standard set of marriage vows when you get a civil marriage at City Hall?).

    It’s my understanding marriage in its basic definition is a contract two people enter together and if that contract allows for some outside sexual experience, neither party is cheating or breaking the contract.

    Plus, this isn’t exclusive to gay couples. In France, this sort of thing has been going on forever.

    Lastly, I’m with everyone here who says that it’s a personal choice. Let every couple make the decision that works best for them. I don’t understand the need to create a monolithic definition of a relationship. One reason I am for gay marriage is that hopefully gays will help broaden our cultural definition of marriage and probably teach straights a thing or two (and god knows, straight marriages also come in all shapes and sizes and versions of monogamous or not).

  26. DR says

    But we also realize that things happen. So we came up with what works for US. There is no reason to end a relationship because a hook-up occasionally.

    Posted by: cb | Jan 29, 2010 9:32:52 AM

    This is the attitude which I find most disturbing. The “oh well, things happen, so we might as well just live with it” attitude. That seems kind of defeatist to me.

    If you don’t want monogamy, be honest about not wanting it. Don’t be ok with an open relationship just because “things happen”.

    I do see this as a setback. We trying to get equal rights, and what I’m hearing is that those rights only mean monetary benefits to a lot of you. If that’s all you want, get a lawyer and set up a solid estate plan. But don’t ask for marriage on one hand and then demand that everyone be ok with you being “open” on the other hand. It’s not going to work for equality.

    Maybe this just shows that our community needs to do some serious thinking before we move forward. Is marriage something that’s attainable, and if so, is it something which is honestly wanted?

    Personally, I can’t imagine being in a relationship where sex and love are so mutually exclusive that my partner can go elsewhere. Sorry, not happening.

  27. says

    “I do see this as a setback. We trying to get equal rights, and what I’m hearing is that those rights only mean monetary benefits to a lot of you. If that’s all you want, get a lawyer and set up a solid estate plan. But don’t ask for marriage on one hand and then demand that everyone be ok with you being “open” on the other hand. It’s not going to work for equality.”

    Do you hold straight couples to the same standard? Because I have a hard time believing every straight married couple out there is 100% monogamous. There are plenty of straight couples who have varying arrangements . . . not to mention how many straight people marry for money or companionship or convenience (and not for romantic reasons).

    Hell, I can go to Vegas with a straight female friend of mine and get married tomorrow. And we never have to live together or have sex or anything and we’d still be married.

  28. Mike says

    Wow, I can’t believe the vitriol this has brought out. Every couple should do what works for them personally. Why make it more complicated than that?

    Don’t want an open relationship? Don’t have one.

  29. cb says

    @DR. Exactly. You can’t imagine. Your choice. Because straight people have such a corner on the monogamy market. We have been completely honest and above board with each other. And I love him more each day. The only people who aren’t ready to get married are people who expectations are immature and juvenile.

  30. Jonathan says

    Brian is a complete schmuck and how much do you want to bet very single. ‘Nuff said.

    GUY FROM OH: Same situation, married in Canada 7 years ago, together for 10. We’ve been open since day 1 with rules. He’s the most sexually attractive person I’ve ever seen and watching him with someone else is a HUGE turn on. And he feels the same way.

    All this judgment is kind of strange coming from gay men. The institution of marriage is completely failing and yet these guys seem to think the only valid model is the failing one.

    This is not one size fits all. And if people create a relationship that works for them there is nothing more to be said (unless you’re a moron).

  31. DR says

    Yes, Alex, I do. If all you want is a tax break, then maybe you ought not get married.

    Of course, straight folk aren’t being scrutinized right now because they want full marriage equality. We are. And this isn’t helping, and the couples involved are well aware of it. As the article notes:

    “None of this is news in the gay community, but few will speak publicly about it. Of the dozen people in open relationships contacted for this column, no one would agree to use his or her full name, citing privacy concerns. They also worried that discussing the subject could undermine the legal fight for same-sex marriage.”

    So they’re “proudly” in open relationships but they don’t want to use their full names because they understand how negatively this will impact the marriage equality fight.

  32. Mike says

    DR – why should I have to hire an expensive lawyer and set up a complicated estate/trust setup (where taxes would be imposed that would not affect a marriage) when the straight couple next door can go to a justice of the peace for next to nothing?

    You say right in your comment that “Personally, I can’t imagine being in a relationship where sex and love are so mutually exclusive that my partner can go elsewhere.” OK – fine. That works for you. But your attitude that it’s ok to impose that on others is pretty similar to those groups opposing marriage equality.

    Marriage means different things to different people. If I want to focus on the financial benefits of it, what makes it any of your damned business?

  33. jmg says

    How is this a setback? Because we want to be able to get married we have toconform to a standard of behavior that millions of straight people reject? How absurd.

  34. DR says

    @ CB… so you would rather accept that “things happen” instead of trying to ensure they don’t? That’s the way your post came across. If I’m wrong, then please feel free to correct me.

  35. says

    “Marriage means different things to different people. If I want to focus on the financial benefits of it, what makes it any of your damned business?”

    I echo Mike’s comments.

    There are lots of reasons people get married and lots of ways people handle their marriages that I may not agree with, but that doesn’t mean those people don’t have a right to marriage.

    Personally speaking, I know I don’t know where I’d fall on the monogamy scale. The longest relationship I’ve been in was 4 years and for the most part I tend to default to monogamy. But what if I was with someone I was mostly monogamous with and we loved and respected each other and we occasionally had a 3-way, why should that matter to anyone?

  36. idaho says


  37. DR says

    No, Mike, marriage is about a commitment. If you can’t (or won’t) commit, then settle for civil unions. All of the perks, none of the responsibility. Simple. No need to redefine marriage there.

    It becomes my business when your insistence that you can do whatever you want gets published in the NYT while we’re litigating a marriage equality case in federal court and live in a country where 40 states have prohibited full marriage equality.

  38. Taylor says

    DR…what you are trying to do is define marriage for everyone. Which is exactly what the opponents of same sex marriage are attempting. YOU DON’T GET TO DO THAT.

    It’s judgmental…and hypocritical. If you don’t want straight people to tell you that a marriage is only between a man and a woman. Then don’t tell someone else…that their open marriage is not a marriage. For YOU it’s not a marriage…for them it might work perfectly and be everything they wanted in a marriage.

    Gay men and women do not and should not have to live up to some arbitrary standard of what does or doesn’t constitute a marriage…when straight people don’t. There are straight couples throughout this country who are in open marriages and I don’t hear a peep about how there open marriages are affecting “equality”.

    The gay community does not speak with one voice…nor should it. We are as diverse in our thinking as any other group. And to have to conform…to this bizarre notion of what is and isn’t a true marriage is just bullshit.

  39. Bubba says

    Open Relationships don’t automatically mean maturity and honesty.

    Monogamy does not automatically mean jealous and the superior.

    I waited twenty agonizing years to come out. I went through a brain tumor and hypogonadism. I am jealous of other guys who are normal. And I have had horrible experiences with guys who have not been with someone like me. I am coming to terms with the fact that I don’t need a lot of guys, I just need to find one.

    But we can’t turn on each other. We can’t hate each other for the choices we each make. Our lives are difficult enough. Choose what feels right for you. Some will choose to live with one sex partner for their entire lives or relationship. Some will have what is called serial monogamy. And some will have friends who they have sex with while giving their heart to only one. Each thinks what they choose is the best, just like one chooses religion which is the best for the person.

    This study may be accurate it may not. But we must love each other for who we are and how we love.

  40. Jonathan says

    Thank you TAYLOR!!! Commitment and monogamy are not synonyms. That seems to be the mistake that many here make. I can think of many ways a partner can betray me that are way worse than having a fleeting sexual encounter.

    I couldn’t be more committed. I have his best interests at heart, I take care of him when he’s sick. I’ve never said a bad word about him and I’d rather be with him than with anybody else. Yet if we choose to have a 3-way these ignoramouses think it’s all useless. As I said before, most of these guys are single and will be forever. It’s not their desire for monogamy, it’s their desire to impose their beliefs on others. If life has taught me anything it’s that those people usually aren’t so secure in those beliefs.

  41. Jason says

    Wow reading this thread makes me really sad.

    I commented on the Behar post saying that I wish we could have a more open dialogue on this issue… I guess we got it.

    I’ve been in a relatiionship my entire adult life. That relationship is wonderful. I don’t know how I could live without him. But the reality is also that we never had much opportunity to play around before we met each other, we met and fell in love very young.

    We have been almost completely monogamous the entire time we’ve been together (twice we’ve played with thirds, not recently) and increasingly I feel like I missed out because I never got to experience what so many of the bitter queens here seem to take for granted.

    Look, different things work for everyone. Ten years ago I might’ve been right there with you on the monogamy train, though I wouldn’t have been such a sanctimonious dick about it. I almost feel an undue weight on my shoulders from the community to maintain the sanctity of marriage or whatever–to be some model of bland homosexual marriage perfection–because we’re the longest lasting gay couple any of our friends seem to know. And what does that mean? It means falling asleep watching Frasier reruns while all of the rest of you are out having fun, playing, and being excited.

    And this is in no way an indictment of the guy I have, who I love and could never live without.

    You should think about reserving your judgments until any of you can understand that.

  42. booka says

    My personal experiance with Gay men in SF points to a sub culture of heedless ‘free range’ behaviour. It is implyed that both partners in a ‘Open Relationship’ have obtained a form of ‘enlightenment’, which allows for a ‘share the wealth’ attitude. In fact what I have experianced, is a group of emotionally unformed egoist, incapable of commitment.The same jealousies and feelings of betrayal present in a ‘Monogamous Relationship’, are still present; just under the surface. It just appears that those feelings are discounted as inappropriate, by the self-absorbed majority of SF’s Gay Ghetto. There are a few ‘Open Relationships’ that have been able to obtain real understanding together, that allows for a form of rule-bound, conditional ‘Openness’. Those relationships are propped up as the standard & norm. While in fact the rest of SF’s Gay population remain just a bunch of retarded uncommunacative sluts, pretending to have it all worked out.It is those screaming the loudest about how well their ‘openness’ works, that seem to be hugely judgemental of the commitment, devotion, and time honored rules necessary to create a truely transendent bond.

  43. cb says

    @DR. It’s not a question of intent. It’s what works for us. US. NO ONE ELSE.

    I bet the majority of these pearl clutchers are single and always will be.

  44. says

    Sidenote: how did Lesbians get magically injected into this ALL MALE study?

    lord knows 50% of lesbians aren’t in open relationships.

  45. says


    As a single person, I often fall asleep with my cats with a book on my lap and a Tchaikovsky symphony on my stereo. We don’t all run around having sex all the time 😉

    I wish I could fall asleep with someone watching Frasier reruns. I miss that so much.

    I think the grass is always greener. I hope you and your partner can find a balance because many of us bachelors wish we have what you have. :)

  46. cb says

    @BOOKA. No,what most seem to be saying(at least here)is that do what works for you. If you want to be in a monogamous relationship and it works best for you,then bravo. I wish you nothing but the best. This idea that “hetro” type relationships work best for all of us, is unrealistic and frankly,dumb.

  47. says

    Studying gay couples in the Bay Area is not the same as studying married gay couples across the US (which, obviously, would be impossible) to see how they compare to married straight couples. Who knows how many straight couples are monogamous? So a focus on marriage is misplaced.

    Marriage is definitely a commitment, but monogamy does not necessarily equal commitment and non-monogamy does not necessarily equal breaking vows, unless your vows include monogamy. Each couple must define these things for themselves.

    Commitment within long-term relationships involves all kinds of things, honesty foremost among them. The keys to a successful committed relationship depend entirely on the 2 people involved. I suspect some of the harshest judgments here are coming from people who aren’t in a long-term relationship.

    Straight people don’t have to pass monogamy tests before getting married, neither should we. That said, as more gay people marry and have kids and generally assimilate, I suspect monogamy patterns with the gay community may naturally change. The myth is that straight marriage = monogamy.

  48. Jonathan says

    To JASON: We’ve been together for ten years and one of the reasons our relationship started the way it did was because he had been in a very oppressive 14-year relationship and I had been married to a woman for 12. Going out was something neither of us particularly enjoyed and we had a real attitude about “those kinds of couples.” But we had a long discussion early on and decided we were going to try all the things we had been to judgmental about or too afraid to do. We realized we were jealous of poeple who had fun in a way we didn’t know how and we decided to do it together.

    Ten years later and we don’t go out that much anymore and we’re a little tired of the “scene” as it were. But we’ve done it all and having someone you love to do it with made it unforgettable.

  49. cb says

    @ALEX. I think you really hit the nail on the head. So many single guys I know,(I was one for a long time),have this idealized,romantic,almost soap opera idea of what a relationship should be. And it’s not. It’s the day to day stuff. It’s mortgages and ill parents and dogs and all those things that go into building a life together. I think once you settle down,that idea of what things should LOOK like fall to the side of the road. I couldn’t be more in love. I have the best relationship of my life with the kindest,sexiest man I have ever known.

  50. mnrocko says

    Seaparate church and state. Civil unions for everyone!
    Hopefully we are evolving away from religion based stipulations in our government and our lives.
    It’s not one size fits all, never has been..people need to be in relationships that work for them, look at the divorce rates! there is a problem people and a lot of you don’t want to change it.

    And Idaho, REALLY? who are you really? Pat Robertson??

  51. says

    @CB I’ve been in two LTRs in my life (one 4yrs and one 3.5yrs … the latter was my big love and broke my heart so badly I just got over it 4 years later). And when I look back a lot of what I miss was stuff like making dinner or sitting on the couch with a DVD or reading together in bed with coffee. Granted, the sex was just fine with both my LTRs, but like you said it’s the day to day stuff where I often found the gold with both of those guys.

    Hopefully third time will be the charm for me :)

  52. Jonathan says

    ALEX: Waking up in the morning and then having him wrap himself around me for 15 minutes before we both get up and get ready for the gym at 5am is by far the best part of my day and probably of my life.

  53. Guy from OH says

    To all of the guys who think that we need to pass some sort of purity test to convince the masses to give us marriage equality, do you know that Maggie Gallagher and all of the other gay haters think of completely monogamous gays? No matter how righteous and publicly sanctimonious you are, they still think you are filthy, God-forsaken perverts. Why not stop worrying about what other people think?

    We will win our rights because people decide that we should be treated equally by the law, not because we’ve had fewer sexual partners. The whole point of the arguments made in the California court room the last couple of weeks is that equality shouldn’t be a popularity contest.

  54. booka says

    @ CB: Sure, I believe that a real relationship outside the traditional ‘Hetro’ norm is entirely possible, provided you do the personal work between each other necessary to substain it. What I point out, is that in the reality of SF Gay culture, very few have done that work, or are emotionally available to do it. That too often the facade of ‘Openness’, remains just that; a facade.I am not debating the’theory’of it, it can work. What takes place in FACT, remains contrary to what SF Gays would like to have everyone, and themselves believe.

  55. says

    @Jonathan: I just melted reading that (and felt a little jealous) 😉

    @Guy from OH: right on. The reason this gay marriage issue is so important is because no matter what one thinks of marriage as an institution, the idea of some people denying equal rights to others based on some personal belief (aka religion) is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Monogamous or not, gay people need to be able to have access to the institution of marriage (and revolutionize it) in the same way straight people have. We have the same right to the many kinds of marriage straight people have: from the loving to the dysfunctional. It’s about equal rights being equal rights.

  56. be says

    I’m 47. Been with my partner for 22 years. Totally monogamous. Totally hot. Feel terrible for the folks who aren’t completely satisfied in their relationships. That said, party on, guys, but please be discreet. We don’t want the whole world to think that we’re all depraved sluts (although I do love it when my partner treats me like one.)

  57. Steve says

    Oh – this is going to be great fodder for the wingnuts.

    I’d love to see this data compared to the percent of hetero couples of have had affairs. With a divorce rate of 50% nationwide, do you think the stats are comparable?

  58. Jonathan says

    We can’t all be perfect. WHATEVER. What I’m thinking will just have to stay in my head. 😉

  59. jakeinlove says

    Based on the greater than 50% divorce rate that has been dominated by “traditional marriage” couples, neither do they.

  60. Taylor says

    Steve…Do you actually think it would make a damn bit of difference to the “winguts” if the study found that all SF gay relationships are completely monogamous? They’re not called “winguts” for no reason.

    It’s the “gay” that disturbs them.

  61. new says

    I was in two long-term relationships,totally monogamous,which finished because of nasty jealousy of my exes.I NEVER cheated behind their backs,but I was constantly accused of it,suspected of it,could not talk to any guy without their knowledge..One made a big,bitchy fight when I was dancing with the LESBIAN in the club,not with him.That was it for me.Right now I enjoy my single status,picking up guys in bar and frequenting bathhouses.When I will go again for relationship,it will be an open one,as I am not going through this hell of jealousy again.
    Monogamy sucks!

  62. DR says


    You’re right, we don’t have one voice, I’ve said that often enough. However…

    When we, as a community, are in a fight for full equality, and the other side is painting us as a bunch of sex-crazed loonies, why should we give them the ammo they need to make their case? and brag about it?

    Look at one of the articles posted later today on this site, the one about the State Trooper’s surviving partner. No marriage, and now he’s afraid of losing a stepson and a home, and the state has not reached out to him the way it would a wife in a similar situation. Thankfully it sounds as though he has a good amount of support from his extended family, but imagine if he didn’t.

    There is the human face which is impacted by this selfish need to say “screw you” to everyone who suggests that we might want to think about the impact our sexual attitudes are having on our fight for full equality.

    If YOUR voice is going to keep ME from having full equality, I’m going to stand up and say something. If that makes me sound judgmental, then so be it. When we have to sit by and fight to keep families together, to even create families in some states, I’m going to speak up.

  63. says

    DR, but at what price equality? And with a double standard on top of that? That’s not equal when straights get to do whatever they like and we don’t?

    I’m not interested in gay marriage being a push for conformity, but rather a recontextualization of the institution of marriage (which, let’s face it, can use some recontextualization).

  64. Taylor says

    “If YOUR voice is going to keep ME from having full equality, I’m going to stand up and say something.”

    So…it all about YOU is it? Well at least you admit it. But, unfortunately…for you…it isn’t all about you.

    It’s about all of US. You know, that “community” that you say is fighting for equality. Equality doesn’t mean that we all have to be the same, think the same or act the same. It means that we should be treated the same as our straight counterparts. You know…our straight counterparts who also have non-monogamous open relationships, and are still allowed to be married.

    All you’re doing is supporting the double standard that you supposedly are fighting against. And I can’t believe that you don’t see that. It doesn’t make you “sound” judgmental…it MAKES YOU judgmental.

  65. Boone68 says

    Recent studies reveal that 45-55% of married women and 50-60% of married men engage in extramarital sex at some time or another during their relationship (Atwood & Schwartz, 2002 – Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy). And these are the hetero couples who are cheating, keeping their affairs secret. How is this more healthy than honesty and openness?

  66. Guy from Florida says

    Based on what I’ve seen, this survey seems pretty accurate. I think that monogamy is like celibacy. It’s a choice some people make and more power to them. Who am I to judge? My partner and I are celebrating nine years next month. We’re in our late twenties. Our relationship has been somewhat open. We’re fiercely loyal to each other and I wish that other people could experience the bond we’ve developed. For us, sex just isn’t as big of a deal as it is for our monogamous friends. Yeah, we have a lot of it (mostly with each other) but it’s just sex. Our relationship is as real as a relationship can get, and I’m madly in love with him in ways that are disgustingly cute. We’re together because we want to be. Why does everyone have to make everything so damn complicated?

  67. booka says

    @ New : Seems that in both experiances you had, there must have been a lack of real communication between each other, and that the relationships were based on ‘reacting’. That is a miserable basis for a relationship, where ones primal insecurities rule boths abilities to connect, creating ‘conditional’ acceptance.You could ask yourself, if either of these men were REALLY available for a relationship. I suspect not. I don’t blame you for a second to just throw the towel in on all of it, and find a means to create true happiness for yourself. That is the point;finding another man that IS emotionally available, remains depressingly rare.’Open’ or not, ANY relationship with another human requires work, and it helps to really look at the object of your affections. What is their motivation, how much honesty in place? Those issues can not be sidestepped, if you hope for a firm foundation with another. Looking a little deeper than the surface of how cute, or well hung he is, can keep alot of trouble from your life.

  68. Jonathan says

    The sad truth is that these fierce advocates of conformity because their marriage rights are being threatened by slutty homos don’t realize that it will have very little to do with them in the long run because they ain’t getting married with attitudes like that. God forbid their partners preferred a different type of food or entertainment or dog.

  69. DF says

    I am really confused here – what exactly is the definition of an “open relationship”? Are we all talking about the same thing here? For example, I don’t consider it an “open relationship” to have a threesome with one’s partner.

    I’ve read all the comments and it seems a lot of the guys saying they have “open relationships” are actually including their partner in the sex. That’s a totally different situation than an “open relationship” in which each partner is going off and having sex with other people. It’s apples and oranges.

    I think a lot of the vitriol and strong emotions in some of these posts is because many people are immediately assuming “open relationship” or “non-monogamy” means that the guys are both off and separately fucking random strangers.

  70. Boone68 says

    “Most experts do consider the ‘educated guess’ that at the present time some 50 to 65 percent of husbands and 45 to 55 percent of wives become extramaritally involved by the age of 40 to be a relatively sound and reasonable one.” According to Peggy Vaughan, author of The Monogamy Myth, first published in 1989 by Newmarket Press (third edition published 2003).
    Conservative infidelity statistics estimate that “60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an extramarital affair. These figures are even more significant when we consider the total number of marriages involved, since it’s unlikely that all the men and women having affairs happen to be married to each other. If even half of the women having affairs (or 20 percent) are married to men not included in the 60 percent having affairs, then at least one partner will have an affair in approximately 80 percent of all marriages. With this many marriages affected, it’s unreasonable to think affairs are due only to the failures and shortcomings of individual husbands or wives.” Some perspective for those who fear the study about open gay relationships will be used to argue against gay marriage. I would say that it’s heterosexual marriage that degrades the institution, since it appears most of them are dishonest about their extramarital sex.

  71. David says

    I’d love to see the same study with a wider geographic distribution of couples. More specifically, how gay couples in countries that have had gay marriage for a while now – Canada, The Netherlands, etc. Perhaps there is a difference in the way younger couples behave in countries where there their relationship can be legally recognized.

  72. James says

    Live and let live people.

    I’m in a monogamous relationship because it works for us. If it didn’t we would change it because we like each other enough not to place sex at the core of our happy interdependence. Thats the value of this discussion, not to throw shit at each others opinions, but instead to see that creating something that works for all parties is the proof of the value of relationships.

  73. Guy from Florida says

    Monogamous guys are obsessed with sex. My God! Sex is such a big deal to you guys. Get therapy to deal with your jealousy and control issues! My relationship is based on foundations that are so much larger than sexual behavior. Just because we don’t have the same insecurities that you do, don’t force your conformist Ozzie and Harriet, bourgeois middle-class bible-belt values on me. If you’re in a monogamous relationship, there’s a 70% chance that one of you has cheated on the other. Good job. =)

  74. says

    I dumped my bitch after he cheated on me. I don’t understand the whole “open relationship” thing. It never works out.

  75. V says

    Done conscientiously, openly and honestly, open long-term relationships can work well for some.

    They backfires on others, especially when not approached honestly or when entered into against one partner’s desires.

    For other folks, it’s not their cup of tea at all.

    We needn’t all be the same.

    As with any relationship, the problems crop up when the partners are in it for different reasons or want different things from the relationship. The more motivations, expectations, and desires mesh when it comes to the relationship, the better the relationship will work out, open or not.

  76. says

    @DF, I don’t think there is one definition of what constitutes an open relationship other than it’s not 100% monogamous (as in not having sex with anyone but your partner). Couples with arrangements set rules that work for them–only 3 ways, only 1 night stands, no sleepovers, not in our bed, only when one of us is out of town, etc.

  77. ty says

    The main reason for all these open relationships is that we do not have marriage equality.
    If there were a serious venue, there would be a serious commitment.
    That said, I prefer commitment and may want a three way in Paris, but do not crave it. i got laid enough while single to last a lifetime….

  78. Guy from Florida says

    Has anyone considered that the majority of heterosexual couples do not get married? There are more unmarried couples than there are married couples- of all sexual orientations.

  79. says

    TY, I think the hole in your logic is assuming that A) gay couples aren’t committed to each other already and marriage will suddenly magically make people “truly” committed . . . would you say a straight couple who chooses not to get married is not committed to each other? B) that people in open relationships are not committed to each other and C) that if and when people go to City Hall and sign a piece of paper they’ll magically become monogamous (look at the infidelity rates in straight marriage to see the hole in that assumption).

  80. niles says

    Sometimes the stupidity of gay journalists and activists boggles the mind. Besides the fact that the Bay Area can hardly be used as a basis for a judgement on all gays, the timing and content of this so-called revelation could not come at a worse time. Does no one realize the vast amount of ammunition you are offering to equal marriage rights opponents? After all, if the gays don’t really don’t care about committed relationships why should they want marriage?

  81. says

    “The main reason for all these open relationships is that we do not have marriage equality. If there were a serious venue, there would be a serious commitment.”

    I think full marriage equality would influence monogamy in gay relationships, but you’re implying that having an “open relationship” precludes a serious commitment. The term “open relationship” is open to interpretation and covers a lot of territory, but as the article and many commentators here are pointing out, it’s quite possible to be emotionally committed to one’s partner over many years while being non-monogamous, or monogamous, whatever works.

    Monogamy is but one variable, and a variable every couple–straight and gay–should be free to work out for themselves. No one can tell me that my relationship of nearly 20 years isn’t marriage-worthy, and the terms of my monogamy are none of anyone’s business. Long-term relationships are about so much more than monogamy, much of it related to how well you navigate everyday life challenges together.

    What’s interesting to me is how views of monogamy will evolve as gay people come out earlier (and go through more hetero-like dating rituals), have family lives (more often including kids) that mirror hetero families, and construct their identities far from gay ghettos. We’re in transition, but so too are heterosexual couples.

  82. tsuyoikuma says

    This is such bullshit and hardly representative of the LGBT populace in geneneral being that the study focuses on the SF Bay Area. Why are you posting this? Don’t you realize this is just going to act as more fodder for the “right”?

  83. DC81 says

    This type of “study” irritates the heck out of me. I don’t for a second buy that half of all gay relationships are open. Gay people are the same in that we all want to feel loved, and be in a loving relationship. Not all of us are oversexed pervs who cant keep it in our pants so we whine and say its in our nature. If a bf of mine ever suggested this, it would be the last conversation we had. I guarantee you this study will be trodded out in every anti-gay marriage proposition to show people how subhuman all gay people are. So frustrating.

  84. DR says

    So…it all about YOU is it? Well at least you admit it. But, unfortunately…for you…it isn’t all about you.

    Posted by: Taylor | Jan 29, 2010 12:06:16 PM

    Nice try, Taylor, but that’s not what I said nor what my point was, way to take one sentence out of context (although hardly surprising).

    It’s about our entire community and the fact that guys like you are so concerned about sleeping with who you want you don’t even think for a second as to how your actions influence the way we are perceived by the world around us. You’re so busy avoiding anything which might resemble heterosexuality to make a statement that you don’t even see that this is what’s costing the partner of a dead Trooper or a sick ATT employee the rights they desperately need right now.

    It’s about the fact that people like you don’t even consider the impact your actions have on the rights of others (or potential rights). TWICE today Andy has linked to articles where men have lost any benefits, or potential benefits they could have, because of the lack of marriage equality.

    Ever think about that, Taylor? I’d venture to say the answer is “no”. You, and people like you, are so selfish that you can’t even see that this insistence on as much sexual “freedom” as you can squeeze from the world around you is having a negative impact on the rest of us.

  85. Happily Married says

    These statistics sound right to me. And they are not just applicable to the hedonistic, satanic citizens of San Francisco, as some here suggest.
    My husband and I have been together for 16 years and going strong. We don’t live in The Bay Area. We have an open relationship. Every gay male couple we know (in cities all over the country and in Europe) who have been together for 10 years or longer, have relaxed rules about monogamy. Studies show open relationships last longer and it makes sense. As the statistics for heterosexual married peoples’ infidelity show, chances are overwhelming that your relationship will not be monogamous. Open communication and honesty, not some illusion of “fidelity”, are what work.

  86. scientitian says

    Dear sanctimonious assholes:
    Lots of couples, gay and straight, are non-monogamous. If you think this is something that exclusively affects the gay community and makes us look “bad,” then you need to get your head out of your ass and wake up to the reality of modern relationships. Will this be used as a weapon against marriage equality? Since all the wingnut psycho bigots already assume we’re super sluts having giant bareback orgies, probably not.
    I don’t know where the hell some of you get off judging so harshly – have you ever been in a long term relationship? What happens if you’re partnered, and your sex drive dimishes with age and your partner’s does not? Do you own their dick? Are they no longer allowed to have sex unless it’s on your timetable and your terms? Sex is a biological need. Abstaining from sex does not make your relationship stronger and it does not make your relationship superior. In fact, controlling your partner’s sex life makes it WEAKER, and causes them to lie and seek outside sex anyway without telling you. Sex is not dirty, and wanting it does not make someone a pervert. Sex does not make or break a relationship. Sometimes sex with someone you love can be “sacred,” sometimes it can be dirty and objectifying (in a good way). What the hell are you all so afraid of? Sadly, this statement sounds an awful lot like the one we’re giving conservative assholes lately: If you don’t like open relationships, then don’t have one!

  87. epic says

    ugh this is representative of all the is wrong with wanting to be just like the rest of them…we are not them…were are queer…we define ourselves…i wish you could see that if we can’t accept ourselves as a community apart, how are we going to expect to accepted by the rest of the world…it must be nice for you to overcome your biology and deny your impulses but i seem to think that it implies a sense of deeper commitment that he will always come home to me and i him… i have someone i trust implicitly and who does the same from me, jealousy is natural but its a little petty to hold it against someone because i know the truth…we are male(mostly) to deny that is only fooling yourself.

  88. cb says

    @DR. First of all,who the fu*ck would know who was in an open relationship or not? Is there a goverment agency that you need to register if you are gay,in a LTR and not monogamous? I could care less what people think of my relationship. This is a free cuntry( :P) and I will fuc* who I want whenever I want. And there isn’t a thing wrong with that.
    This is a great example like of an issue (marriage equality) that needs legislation to move it forward.

  89. Gast says

    I personally don’t believe in sleeping around. What is there to be gained? a disease?

    To me, something dies when your relationship is simply not enough. I’d rather be monogamously involved with two other guys, all committed to one another, than whore around.

  90. Rafael says

    Imagine Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarrillo were in an open relationship and were open about it. Do you really believe that would have zero impact on how Perry v. Schwarzenegger is decided?

    I’m not judging anyone, just the naive notion that open relations have no impact on how we are perceived. Personally, open relationships are not for me.

  91. John says

    Fact check –

    The study wasn’t conducted in the City of San Francisco.

    It was conducted in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    There’s a huge difference between the two. Conflating them is like saying Manhattan and New Jersey are the same place.

    The metropolitan Bay Area has 7.4 million people and an incredible range of communities – including rural communities, small towns, and suburbs. Some of them are very liberal; others are extremely conservative. Berkeley is only 12 miles away from Alameda. But they’re a universe apart politically. Even though the city went 3 to 1 against Prop. 8 in 2008, many of these suburban towns voted for it by equally lopsided margins.

  92. clint says

    First of all: don’t get married unless you’re already married, that is unless you’re living in such a way that everyone recognizes that a marriage is now happening, and that because a marriage is happening, it simply must be acknowledged by the community and given the kind of official community support that such a relationship demands. This has NOTHING to do with the particulars of anyone’s sex life, for such a thing now goes into the realm of impolite conversation except among the closest of close friends, OR if the sex life or lack thereof is visibly straining the relationship and thus the state of marriage.

    Second of all: this means if a couple takes a lover, or someone allows his husband to take a lover, or some other supposedly “unconventional” arrangement arises, and yet the relationship is as strong as ever, BUT YOU find out and are uncomfortable or angry or whatever, THEN YOU have the problem, and YOU are the problem, not the marriage in question. “Well I just don’t know if I agree with that, ” or “Well that makes me uncomfortable, I don’t want to know or be around that.” Ok, so that is YOUR problem, and because YOU have the problem BUT the marriage in question is happy and positive and enjoyable and helpful for those within it, then YOU have NO BUSINESS bringing YOUR problem into that marriage and making pronouncements about it. You are bringing problems to a situation where there WOULDN’T BE a problem if YOU didn’t have it in the first place. Then the partners have to expend effort to deflect your self-centered objections and make a mud puddle where there was nothing but a flower garden before, and get themselves dirty in the muck and mire that is only the product of your flawed perception.

    Gawd, I could go on and on…..

  93. says

    For all you whores that claim people that choose to be in monogamous relationships are obsessed with sex are simply retarded. Monogamous couples aren’t out fucking every Tom, Dick, and Alex Rodriquez they see, its you people that do that. So ask yourself who is really obsessed with sex. Now if you bring someone else in the relationship for the night then maybe it wouldn’t be so whorish, sluty yes, whorish not so much.

    Also can someone explain to me how this shit even works. Do you guys cruise A4A together deciding on which dude either of you will go fuck tonight? Or Do you guys walk down the street and one of you spot a sexy dude you might like, does other push you to sexing up that dude or do you ask to fuck them. Please can someone please help me understand this monstrosity.

  94. Taylor says


    “Nice try, Taylor, but that’s not what I said nor what my point was, way to take one sentence out of context (although hardly surprising).

    Out of context? Really? This is the entire paragraph…the emphasis is yours.

    “If YOUR voice is going to keep ME from having full equality, I’m going to stand up and say something. If that makes me sound judgmental, then so be it. When we have to sit by and fight to keep families together, to even create families in some states, I’m going to speak up.”

    Now tell me exactly how this paragraph isn’t all about you and what YOU want and what YOU think is right and what YOU think everyone else should do, in order for things to work out the way that YOU want them to?

    “It’s about our entire community and the fact that guys like you are so concerned about sleeping with who you want you don’t even think for a second as to how your actions influence the way we are perceived by the world around us.”

    It isn’t about the entire community if you discount members of that community who don’t feel the same way you do about personal relationships. It’s still all about you and what you feel is correct. Well…keep on thinking that…but thinking it..isn’t going to make it so.

    I bet you’re one of those who bemoans the fact there are drag queens and leather queens in ass-less chaps at the gay pride parades…because it gives us all a bad image. Tough shit, they’re part of the community too. If you’re so damn worried about what everyone thinks about the gays…then why don’t you go to Exodus International and enroll in one of their nice conversion courses? Maybe it will work for you…and then you won’t have to worry at all about being gay or being associated with people who might think or act differently than you…you might be able to be a straight boy too. And be a part of a whole different community.

    By the way, I was in a relationship for 36 YEARS…not months YEARS. My partner died in early December after a two year battle with colon cancer. I was there with him holding his hand and whispering in his ear how much I loved him, when he died. And for the record we didn’t have an open relationship. How fucking dare presumptuous prick…how dare you presume that you know anything about me or about my relationship, simply because I support others being able to live their lives the way the choose, without assholes like you telling them they have to live a certain way…cuz the “straights won’t like us” if we don’t. BULLSHIT…the straights don’t like us because we suck cock!

    “You’re so busy avoiding anything which might resemble heterosexuality to make a statement that you don’t even see that this is what’s costing the partner of a dead Trooper or a sick ATT employee the rights they desperately need right now.”

    And you know this how? Because, I support peoples rights to live as they choose…not as you wish they would. You’re in for a lot of disappointments in your life if you think everyone should only live and love in the ways that you find appropriate.

    “It’s about the fact that people like you don’t even consider the impact your actions have on the rights of others (or potential rights).”

    Really, people like me? You mean people like me who have marched with ACT UP, done countless AIDS WALKS, volunteered at benefits, handed out fliers, asked people to sign petitions for marriage rights? Those kind of people? Yeah…you’re right I’ve never considered the impact of my actions. You PRICK!

    “Ever think about that, Taylor? I’d venture to say the answer is “no”. You, and people like you, are so selfish that you can’t even see that this insistence on as much sexual “freedom” as you can squeeze from the world around you is having a negative impact on the rest of us.”

    Gosh…no, I never think about anyone but me.’re fucking repulsive you sanctimonious asshole. Where do you get off preaching to me about ANYTHING. You think you know me because I support a person’s right to live the way they choose. I’ll tell you what…I’ll take 1,000 people who prefer to have an open relationship…over you any day.

    As for my sexual freedom? I’m 59 years old. I met my partner when I was 23. He was the love of my life, and I haven’t had sex since he became ill…and now that he’s gone, I seriously doubt if I’ll ever have sex with anyone again. So…don’t fucking preach to me about what I can and cannot squeeze from the world.

    I’d bet my life…that I’ve done more to promote gay causes and gay rights in my lifetime that you will ever do in yours. Because you’re so fucking busy telling everyone what they should do, so you can have YOUR RIGHTS! They’re MY rights too..and they are also the rights of those who have open relationships.

    So get over yourself and become part of the community that you claim to be a member of instead of pointing at members of that community and telling them…they must live they way that you want them to.

  95. Taylor says

    Yeah…because if everyone was in a monogamous relationship…we’d all be married right now, all the straights would love us, and there’d be peace throughout the world.

    Yup…those damn whores….they’re to blame.

  96. Bryan says

    BOCCA: Who are you to tell me what I can or can’t have? You amit your jealous (a character defect), and then happily project it onto everyone, everywhere.

    Your “one size fits all” mandate for relationships is nothing more than a thin layer of moralizing masking one more straight-derived oppressive construct. Keep your character defects to yourself.

  97. TANK says

    Yeah…oh well. Disappointing, but realistic. I like being single (loneliness is something I’ve never felt), and hope to extend that for as long as possible.

  98. Gast says


    I’m sorry, but with that mindset, you aren’t ready to be married and/or be a father to someone.

  99. TANK says

    The trend here is that people in open relationships are trying to justify those relationships as somehow legitimate. Of course they’re legitimate. They’re legitimately open. I think why this has touched such a nerve isn’t so much that the countpoint is insisting that it invalidates our struggle for marriage equality, or that they don’t have “real relationships” (whatever that means) so much as it says something deeply personal about someone. Everytime one egages in an ethical argument (i.e., one that applies to more than just the speaker), one is saying something very personal about oneself as well as others: the type of person one is. This is how one chooses to live, or believes one ought choose to live. In this case, it’s toleration of plurality of relationship types (relativism). I think this plea for tolerance is perfectly acceptable in this case, though it doesn’t resolve any dispute (relativism never resolves disagreement…says nothing, really). And if people are happy in open relationships given the type of people they are, more power to them. I don’t think it invalidates marriage equality, for there are a lot of people who aren’t of the type who prefer an open relationship. Moreso, whether in an open relationship or a monogamous one, both should receive the benefits of marriage equality for same sex couples if they so desire it. After all, it’s merely a contract, and people who despise each other get married for whatever reasons. So marriage equality is clearly a separate issue than the type of relationship pertaining to open or closed one prefers. Let’s not muddle is with ought when we clearly can’t.

    What it gets to also is that it’s extremely common amongst both men and women (perhaps more common amongst men than women, but I don’t think there’s a compelling reason that distinguishes biological foundation from sexist conditioning), and a subset of men being gay men…to distinguish between sex and intimacy. Amongst gay men, it’s very common, but no more common than it is for straight men who have the benefit of marriage to hide from scrutiny–to so clearly divide the two. There are exceptions.

    It speaks to the type of person you are. Specifically, you’re the type of person who feels that sex is not an expression of intimacy or emotion, but merely an action like masturbation. I don’t see anything wrong with this, as some of my best friends are a select few of the sluttiest people on the planet…and it’s very common, and it doesn’t hurt anyone if safe sex and honesty are practiced…though often people sin. But I’m not one of these types of people. I’m not alone in not being one of these types of people, either. And that’s ethically neutral, too. But hopefully those types of people will be in relationships with each other and not with people who aren’t like them not only for their happines but the happines of the people who aren’t like them…and that isn’t ethically neutral, because the preferences of others are involved.

  100. Happily Married says

    The religious bigots who hate us won’t like us more if we wear chastity rings. And I am not living my life for their approval anyway. Why on earth would I?
    It could be argued that same sex marriage is urgently needed so that gay men settle down and quit sleeping around. That’s actually a more valid argument than we don’t deserve to get married because we aren’t monogamous enough. So don’t get your knickers in a twist that this will be “used against us” to deny us equality.

  101. Randy says

    One thing this article leaves out– which is a huge oversight IMO–are the feelings of the other party. It boils sex down to some kind of daily function rather than something that is intimate or reflects something deeper. The single people that are on the other end of the sex with these people in open relationships are made out to sound like props. And something tells me that while the couple has an open an honest conversation about the sex on the side, there’s alot of dishonest in other parts of the equation. This is why third parties can either get emotionally attached (and frankly they have every right too) or they tend to be single because they allow themselves to be objectified.

  102. Gast says

    libhomo: “Male monogamy doesn’t exist, regardless of sexual orientation. The sooner our culture acknowledged that fact, the better.”

    Regardless of your life experience, that is NOT a fact.

  103. Beau in LA says

    You know, I don’t understand where all the hate and vitriol surrounding this subject comes from. people may not understand my relationship, but they don’t have to. What they DO have to do is stop being judgmental of things they don’t understand. Funny how they sound just like the straight people they want acceptance from. I don’t owe ANYONE but my partner an explanation about how we live our life. We open up once in a while, and after 12 years, we love each other more than ever. Seems to me that the only people that have real problems with this are the ones who either can’t find a partner, or are too damaged to keep one. We’ll keep doing as we please, and if you don’t like it, don’t be the creamy filling in our Oreo. no one’s gonna force you…but somehow I think you really do want someone to.

  104. Tim says

    Here is why I think this study doesn’t conflict with affording gays the right to marry. We have to look at the past to understand the present. Historically gay people have been subject to discrimination and prejudice. Incidentally, we have developed critical views of the traditional ways in which society conducts itself. But society conduct itself in this manner, because it attains an array of benefits this way. For instance, committed, monogamous relationships (even if superficial) provide fertile ground for kids to grow. From my own personal experience, I remember seeing my dad cheat on my mother and that really messed me up. No kid deserves to live in an unstable environment. But then again, the dynamics of gay relationships usually exclude kids. Then, there is the respect to be shared. When you disregard sex as “just sex” you are making sex less special, less intimate and there is certainly something to be lost with that. Being honest is a great policy, but it doesn’t prevent us from hurting (perhaps unconsciously) those we love, I imagine this is the reason why non monogamous straight partners lie to one another. I will conclude by alluding to the fact that happiness is relative to our expectations, which are likely to evolve through time as we attain our rightful equality.

  105. Tyler says

    I really can’t understand this at all. If the stats are true (I realize this is the Bay Area), this is really disturbing.

    Then again, I’m probably younger than most here. But as someone who’s pining for a stable monogamous relationship at this point, I can’t help but find this… I don’t really know what the word it.

  106. jamal49 says

    See, what I have never understood is why be in a relationship with someone if one or both of you want to mess around with other people? What’s the point? You’re just roommates or fuck buddies then. It doesn’t make any sense at all.

  107. says

    This whole comment thread is why there’s no actual such thing as a “Gay Community.” Too much ridiculous bickering without actually considering other peoples valid opinions (as I’ve seen very valid points for Monogamamy, along with re-evaluation/healthier re-appraisal of human sexuality). Does anyone actually listen to either opposing argument without injecting personal judgement? Still waiting….

    How about some dignified “Agree to disagree?” and put it to rest. Otherwise you look as tired as any other vitriolic commenter on any other website. Do you (whatever that as) and live a life off the internet and stop judging people you don’t know.

  108. Jim says

    Wow! Reading these comments, you’d think they largely written by a church group from Colorado Springs. Stand back and look at yourselves people.

    I agree with CB. My partner and I are older (54/64) and we agree that we are committed. However, if a hookup happens, it’s not reason to break up the partnership. If it’s just sex, once in a blue moon and we’re matter of fact about it happening, who cares.

    Part of what we’ve fought for is not to be exactly like the straights – but to be accepted on our own terms for who we are – not some pretend dollhouse view of what someone thinks we should be.

    I think we need to start with accepting the differences within our own community. If it works for you, great.

    Stop hating on each other and just accept.

  109. Atheist says

    I don’t believe that just because a lot of gay men don’t necessarily want monogamy that therefore all gay men should be deprived of the choice to get married. Plenty of straight ppl dont want to get married but doesn’t mean that they think that everyone else shouldn’t have the choice to do so, if they want. There is no *right* answer to this; it is what works for you. The key is honesty and communication. Its lying and going behind your partner’s back this is intolerable.

    Personally, I would feel physically sick if I found out the man was cheating; I doubt I could continue with him even if I wanted to. But that’s just me.