“Seeking LTR”: You Sure About That?

Posting for Monday, August 23, 2010

Right off, this sermonette is for gay guys. I really think gay girls are wired differently and take relationships seriously from the first peck on the cheek. As a lesbian fellow faculty member at the university where I work once said to me after we had come out to one another, “When two guys hit the sack, it’s all about sex. When two gals hit the sack, they’re married.”

Yet for all the fancy free, free-as-a-bird frivolity and indiscriminate fucking this lifestyle purports to offer, more guys than may even admit it to themselves are desperately hungry to get off the whirling gay merry-go-round. To settle down for a quiet, boring existence with a life partner, soul mate, or whatever hackneyed phrase popular culture chooses to use at the moment. Not a series of bed-hopping two month flings so you can boast about your string of “ex’s,” I mean something solid.

I can sense that desperation in the countless gay website profiles I scan, some that go on for paragraphs on what the profiler is looking for in another man, way beyond dick size and tits. I see that same desperation in the tired, expressionless faces of guys in the bars on a Saturday night, still hanging in there at 1:15 for more, I think, than just a quick fuck, even if they’ve fooled themselves into thinking that’s the only reason.

But “The Life”, with its non-stop emphasis on physicality and sex, sets the odds against us right from the beginning. How can you expect most guys to buy into another person’s likes and dislikes when they’ve never romped in bed? Straights, though certainly not always, can often make it on personality and socio-economic draws. But when it comes to man-to-man connections, sex, whether we like or not, is almost always the first ingredient. Guys who say they want to “get to know you first” often don’t stand a chance at getting to first base. After all, some would argue, if the lust isn’t there, can a LTR ever take root? (Maybe.)

That’s why, in my mind, guys who may even be ready for a Long Term Relationship, let alone those of us just in it for dick and ass, are intimidated by some of these “walks on the beach” web profiles because the guy’s expectations sound too high. Hell, Manhunt, Bear411, DaddyHunt with their provocative pics and explicit sexual habits rap sheets, are not e.harmony.com’s. For a lark, I checked out match.com which offers gay listings. It was somewhat comical, guys talking about their spiritual side or whether or not they ever wanted to have children. Nice virtues to consider but, come on now, men, do we initially connect discussing world peace?

When we think of a LTR we think of commonality in thinking and interests and style, and commitment to another human being emotionally. But, in the end, the only way any relationship will last is if both parties are ready to let go and compromise. Every LTR is different. Some relationships are as tight as threads on a screw, others as loose as a fist fucked ass, but hey, it’s whatever works that counts, as long as the guys know they’re willing to bend for one another (figuratively speaking). Without that flexibility, LTR’s can’t happen, I don’t care how great the sex is and how much you both like film noir. That’s why I’m convinced that the older we get, the less we’re open to giving in, no matter what we say or even feel.

You also have to be ready to deal with a lot of mental angst. My partner and I have been together longer than most American marriages have lasted, and in those decades we’ve buried over a dozen family, a dozen pets, shared health crises, and fought over the stresses of two high powered careers. And, yes, there were many times when we thought it was time to call it a day.

So, ask yourself, when you idealize those “walks on the beach” you have stuck in the fantasy lobe of your brain: are you really ready?

Will you ever be?

Tomorrow: Making Relationships Work – Some Do’s and Don’ts.

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