So just what is monogamy in the male gay life? Can two guys truly be loyal to one another sexually? Or is that too lofty an expectation even for straights, let alone us?
I define monogamy very strictly: you have sex with one another and only one another, not together with another guy.
And God bless those who can live that gold standard. But I’m fucken tired of the gay fantasy propaganda that depicts two guys in forever monogamous bliss. Or the whole gay marriage movement which implies monogamy is good. And the only way.
When asked “what is your ideal relationship?” in a recent hook-up site survey, two thirds of guys responded “open” or “polygamous” or “being a bachelor.” And when it comes to sex, the overwhelming majority of guys said they would do, or have done threesomes.
Also interesting are the results of another mini-poll. While most guys in a relationship where one of the partners is no longer interested in sex would stay hooked up, half would take on fuck buddies, without or without their partner’s knowledge.
So where does all this “til death do us part” monogamous mental attitude come from? A rip-off of str8 society mythology that some of us still think we need to emulate to be truly happy? The gay media that keeps showing beaming young lovers? Gay fiction? Gay fantasy? The lesbian component of our grand community since two women tend to be more loyal than two guys?
Who knows? I just think those who hold this monogamy sword above our heads as something we should strive for should cut the shit. That’s not what many of us want nor should we need to.
Now, having said all that, I truly envy guys who say they are monogamous, and I believe they’re out there. But the male is a funny animal; after all, society created the institution of marriage because it knew that unless there was a way to legally lasso the guy, some if not many men would just fuck and run. I think it’s in our hard wiring. Look at all the single women raising kids today in our society without a man in the picture as proof. Hell, single parenting has almost become a norm.
And for gays, certainly “The Life” doesn’t help. So much revolves around sex. If you’re a couple living in the boonies, where your closest neighbor is ten miles away and the nearest gay bar is in the next state, you have to admit a vow to be faithful is a hell of a lot easier to live up to. That’s not to say urban and suburban guys can’t be loyal but in places where our numbers are greater, temptation seems to be everywhere.
Even if it’s more illusion than reality.
Having a coterie of like-minded, paired off friends can help, but sometimes unavoidable sexual tensions between friends – again men are men – can lead to awkward, uncomfortable situations which can make monogamy, whether you live in Great Falls, Montana, or West Hollywood, California, become an albatross, not a comfort zone.
For some couples, monogamy is an absolute, and crossing that line is a deal breaker. And if both guys trust one another, and understand what being monogamous truly means (and it doesn’t mean threesomes together), fine. But, again, is that always being realistic with two men? And could it be one of the partners makes these demands because he feels insecure in the relationship and realizes deep down sex may be all they have in common?
Then, there are those of us who just do it on the side and don’t talk about it, either because of a pre-arranged agreement or, more likely, because we don’t want to hurt our partner with whom we share a life, not just a bedroom. There are a lot of coupled guys out there living a double life. I know that because I’m one of those people and have played with many a man in my same shoes.
G, my partner, and I have been together longer than most American marriages have lasted, but sex vanished in our relationship early on. We used to live together in our house on Staten Island, New York City’s suburban forgotten borough, me a health care executive, G, a Wall Streeter. Today, we spend the winter and spring at my place in Fort Lauderdale, and the summer and fall at our vacation home in Pennsylvania. I’ve taught for one of the universities down here online, and George, ten years my senior, is retired.
G, and I believe him, tells me he’s quite content with fantasy and porn. Me? I still need, and am amazed at my age I can still get the real thing. G is also a conservative Arab-American, who, like me, thinks most glossy gay life is horseshit. Given the lack of sex, some people think I should have left him a long time ago, or he should have left philandering me, but there are other things I value in our “partnership” including surprisingly similar views on life and the fact he’s a guy, not a fag, even if that means being a baseball widow in the summer and a football widow in the fall. As far as my trysts are concerned, I never have anyone calling the house, never stay out all night, never bring anyone home. True, logistics can be an issue but where there’s a will, there’s a way. While G may sarcastically bait me at times – “How many dicks did you suck in the gym showers today?” – I just answer, “only five, it was a slow afternoon.” We just don’t talk about it.
So are people like me really scum, when we “fuck around on the side?” Or are we just looking for transitory physical release, a momentary recreational diversion or ego kick, but recognize we have much more in our relationship? After all, in the end, finding sex is easy. Finding someone on your life wavelength is a miracle.
What I do find hypocritical are those pair-offs who think they’re being monogamous as long as they screw around together with another guy or other couples. Yea, I’ve done three ways with lovers and often feel I’ve been used as kindling to re-spark an old flame. Sometimes, after a hot and heavy session with the two of them, I’ll end up sitting in a nearby chair playing with myself as they get it on as a duo. Maybe it’s to show me they’re still very much in love or maybe it’s to rationalize in their own minds me, the third party. Guys, I hate to break it to you, but having sex with someone else is still screwing around. So be it, but just be honest about it.
Bottom line, I think we get too hung up on the sex thing anyway. No, the strongest relationships are those that get beyond the sex act and who’s doing it with whom, and where the bond that counts the most is way upstairs. In the brain, heart and soul.