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Not in Front of the Goyim: Gays and Not-So-Open Relationships

Interesting piece by Scott James in today’s New York Times:

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.

However the reporter discovered a wall of silence surrounding the subject:

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.

Or perhaps they worry they might be shouted down and called ‘sluts’ by the gay blogs.

Given the very real fear of being osctracised and shamed for talking in front of the goyim about how gay relationships actually are, instead of the Disney-esque way that gay marriage zealots would like to portray them, it seems a reasonable assumption that the 50% figure is an underreporting.  Probably most gay male relationships in the Bay Area are open.  As I’ve said before, in public, in front of the goyim, in my experience probably most gay male relationships are open.  (I’ll admit I was surprised by the article’s claims about lesbian relationships — but then, I have rather less experience of them…).

Of course, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s half or most, or even a large minority, the point, as Scott James acknowledges, is that this is definitely not an attribute of the vast majority of hetero relationships. Many may have their ‘infidelities’, but very, very few have open relationships. For most the concept is a contradiction in terms. Especially if married. The author makes much of how the openness of gay relationships can help reform the failing institution of marriage, but personally I suspect he fails to understand what marriage actually is, and the proprietary, exclusive nature of it. In reality, gay marriage may just  succeed in making gay relationships less open and more hypocritical.

Too often the movement for gay marriage is censorious and shame-based, about presenting homosexuality as a neutered heterosexuality, about claiming over and over again that gay relationships are ‘just like’ straight ones and anyone who says different is a bigot and ‘homophobe’ —  externalised or internalised.

There’s also another dimension to the reluctance of gay couples to talk about their open relationships… openly, one that has less to do with worrying about what the gays will say, and more to do with what the world will think: It may cost them their new-found respectability.  This after all is the point of ‘gay marriage’ for some, particularly those of the Sullivanite tendency: to prove to the world they’re not like those promiscuous, hedonistic, slut gays. Even and especially if they are still getting rogered by them regularly via Manhunt.

Then again, open relationships can be hard work. And discussing them in public allows people like me to pass unhelpful comment. Here’s ‘Chris’ and ‘James” rules for their open relationship:

complete disclosure, honesty about all encounters, advance approval of partners, and no sex with strangers — they must both know the other men first. “We check in with each other on this an awful lot,” said James, 37.

Obviously how they conduct their relationship is their business – and good luck to them. But I can’t help wondering if in this instance monogamy wouldn’t be much less trouble.

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7 thoughts on “Not in Front of the Goyim: Gays and Not-So-Open Relationships”

  1. Why should gay men be expected, or expect themselves, to ape the mores of socially idyllic heterosexual coupling? Men evolved to spread their seed far and wide and gay men have the luxury of not being burdened with responsibilities attendant on production of offspring resulting from their sexploits. Let fornication thrive, for in it there is more of the male (ever a good thing…) than one normally finds in the whole tribe of fops — gay or straight — stuck on living up to biologically absurd and (for gay ones at least) socially ridiculous ideals.

  2. Addendum: As far as doing it in front of the Goyim, it strikes me that it is not so much the straight herd who gays would be afraid of shocking as it is thier more straight laced brothern. I seriously doubt that the issue of faithfulness has any bearing on the issue for straight people. The modern the heterosexual family unit is so ajar with unfaithfulness that no straight person, no matter how religious would risk embarasing themselves or their friends with that sort of challenge.

  3. There are several issues, to me, that come to mind from this study. One is that San Francisco, having been a gay mecca since World War Two, tends, like New York City, to attract very attractive and healthy specimens of masculinity. I think that anyone who himself was at all attractive would be masochistic if they wasted their time ironing shirts when they could be off exploring the local fauna with at least some tenacity. Also San Francisco, has always, by a long run, had a more free wheeling and adventurous attitude toward sex than many other places.
    If this is the case, San Francisco might not, in all fairness be the most representative group. But Then again it would tell us best what people are likely to do if good stray sex is available.

    Americans have fallen victim to the social diseases of conformity and materialism. This has been popularized bogously as a “gay right” or apparently the only gay right that counts. Of course the only one’s who really benefit from this and promote it are rich fellows who want to keep their “boy toys’ captive, in the same way that older wealthy men manipulate “trophy” brides.

    There seem to be virtually no gay men in America who do not believe that they need at least to give mouth service to ”gay rights,’ fearing that they would be politically corrupt if they didn’t . I’m pretty free with stating my position against marriage, and even the shyest sots treat me like I need a good thrashing, or a hanging for apostasy: Upside down with a sign hanging somewhere:” bad gay”.

    There is only one point which I would make here, and that is that the study noted gives truth to the fact that gays both want to appear respectable (like nice gay couples) even if that means just being friends; which some people are, I’m sure. At the same time they are going to keep their libidos happy and have sex without connection.

    I don’t know what to say for the sorry soul who needed his partner’s approval to screw anyone. What if he just picks really plug ugly guys -it’s sort of like being pimped.

    This is an object lesson in how all Americans form opinions about anything and why they can be pied pipered down any path, regardless of how idiotic: gays have achieved normality in that respect: just as foolish as their neighbors.

  4. Sisu: ‘A Thin Veneer of Monogamy’: what a great title for a West-End bedroom farce! I see Mrs Sullivan in a leather harness hiding under the (King Sized) water bed while a Mr Signorile rummages frantically around in the closet.

    Supermarky: So true. ‘We only play together’ hardly ever heralds an evening of diversion and delight.

  5. Fiddle-dee-dee, Mr Simp-sohn suh, there ain’t nothin’ wrong with bein’ a-called a slut now sugah.

    Unfortunately, there is no identification of the hypocrisy of those who claim the “right” of marriage whilst reserving for themselves the ability to change the rules to allow open-relationships. But then, having an open relationship is not marriage then, is it? Stupid gays. As much as I despise anyone who tries to police the sexual behaviour of others, the fundies do have a point – allowing same-sex marriage will undermine what “marriage” is about.

    A thin veneer of monogamy, indeed.

  6. No comments on this post? Ok then I guess I’ll do my worst!

    Chris and James sound like a sick-o control freaks who totally deserve to make of each other’s lives a hell-at-home.

    But at least they aren’t practitioners of the (ain’t love grand) “We only play together” rule, often the mainstay of your fine may/november romance. The horror of the terrible monster in the cellar what pays the mortgage is frequently only indicated by that ominous legend, “We only play together” as a caption to a fetching photo in the online profile by means of which they forage for a sex life together. After all, Dad’s pic isn’t exactly a selling point now is it? Not surprisingly “bait” and “switch” come together as often as not on account of the youngun running escort ads in the back pages of the gay papers. In more than a few instances the momentous decision to cast their lots together in a loving relationship is no reason for the hottie to give up his career. Accordingly, “We only play together” is modified, to accommodate the important exception, “unless Son is being paid.” Whenever I meet a “we only play together” out and about and that wretched line is uttered, I am tempted to observe that whatever they mean by use of the word “play” sounds a lot more like “work” as far as I’m concerned. And why would I seek such employment, Scott [Thorson], if Lee [Liberace] ain’t payin MY bills?!

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