Friday, August 16, 2013

GAYS Promiscuous???


Posted: 16 Aug 2013 05:30 AM PDT
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Posted: 16 Aug 2013 05:25 AM PDT
Richard_b500I heard from a friend recently who told me about a recent conversation with a young friend over dinner. Seems the young guy had recently split with a boyfriend after finding out that his man had been sleeping around.The conversation turned to gay men and sex. Why is it so hard to find a gay man who is interested in monogamy?  

Why is it so hard to find intimacy and sexual connection in the same person? My friend told me he was stumped and found the questions a bit haunting. What is it about gay men and sex? Are all gay men promiscuous? We may wince at the word “promiscuity,” but research and personal experience both indicate that gay men have more sexual partners than heterosexual men. It’s reasonable to question why that might be, and to think about the costs and benefits of our sexual choices.

Sex is important to gay men. In addition to the obvious reason – sex is highly pleasurable – until recently sex between men was illegal, disapproved of and marginalized in most parts of our country. And gay male culture tends to be both sexy and sexualized. Ellen DeGeneres tells a joke about looking in the gay yellow pages when she first came out and remarking, “Wow! Look at the abs on that mortician!”

Gay men have always had long-term, committed and monogamous relationships, of course. That’s quite an accomplishment when you consider all the obstacles placed in the way of such relationships’ success: lack of legal recognition, frequent lack of family support, etc. But gay men don’t always assume that sexuality can only be healthy in the context of a committed relationship. (Contrast this with the situation of heterosexuals, where sex is supposed to be only within marriage, yet sex outside of marriage isn’t at all uncommon.)

Pleasure makes the sexual urge very strong, but that doesn’t mean our reasons for having sex aren’t complex. Sex can be lovemaking – celebrating the passion and connection with a partner we love. But there are all sorts of other reasons why people choose to have sex: maybe they’re horny or lonely. Maybe they’re drunk or just bored. And some men have learned to use sex as a way to escape from stress.

Sex can be a deep expression of intimacy, but pursuing many sexual partners can reflect just the opposite – a fear of real intimacy. Casual sex can allow us to scratch our itch to physically connect with another person without requiring us to do the hard work involved in having a healthy relationship. Over time that can decrease our ability to have those sorts of committed, fulfilling relationships.

Does the gay community encourage gay men to have a large number of sex partners, particularly outside of relationships? The sexual infrastructure of our community includes cruisy bars, circuit parties, bathhouses, sex clubs and Internet hook-up sites with names like Manhunt or Cruisingforsex. Sex is instantly available to anyone with a car or Internet connection. It’s not that recreational sex is a bad thing, but sex can become compulsive and unhealthy if it becomes the source of our identity or if it becomes compulsive. When we become preoccupied with sexuality or anything else, life loses its balance.

Back to my friend’s dinner conversation. Is it difficult to find gay men who are ready for committed relationships?  I don’t think so. Our community presents lots of alternatives, though, and guys who spend a lot of time in the hypersexual parts of the gay community aren’t good candidates for monogamous life.

Chalk up another reason why it’s good to take plenty of time to get to know the person you’re dating before you imagine giving your heart to him.


John R. Ballew, M.S.an author and contributor to GAYTWOGETHER, is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Atlanta. He specializes in issues related to coming out, sexuality, relationships and spirituality. If you have any questions or comments you can submit them directly to GAYTWOGETHERor John R. Ballew, M.S. - www.bodymindsoul.org.

thanks to MICHAEL@gaytwogether,com

10 comments:

jimm said...

Maybe comparing heterosexual relationships to homosexual relationships is all wrong.

No deep family ties. No kids.

And what is the divorce rate?

Maybe minus family obligations sex does become more compulsive.

I'm just jabbering. I have no idea what's right or what's wrong. Could be it's whatever works for you. Especially if you can find a mate... likewise.



JustinO'Shea said...

Interesting question/issue.
Do you think,maybe, we give off signals of being 'unavailable' - trying very hard to connect but at the same time secretly saying "Stay away. . I'm not interested. . " etc

Reading and thinking about it I know I could be quite promiscuous - if I let myself. . .if I wanted to do that. . easily, sometimes. LOL I love flirtin'. .. LOL
[sssshhhhh.. . I dint say that! yo ho ho ]

jimm said...

Dear Dr Flirt,
ahhh... those signals... I think it's like... where you are. In a social setting or at work?

There is this new guy at work, young and handsome too. He has given several 'signals'. In a social situation, this could work, at least for striking up a convo.

But at work, there are some risks. So I haven't responded favorably. I guess it's my issue with not trusting ppl. It does run deep.

I def hate having this freaking attitude. Somebody, please sue me!!!

JustinO'Shea said...

OK JIMMMMMY. . .go for this one. Stop planning conversation with the latest wanna-be Object of Your Affection and just say "hello". (You can plan the 'hello'...after that you just wing it. . ;-))
Just take a deep breath -- but don't pass out -- and just chat with him. . whatever is or isn't said.
:::: Hey, I wanna hear more about This One. . . .
DO IT!!!

now to bed. . in my own. . LOL

Coop said...

It's okay to look but don't touch.
Somewhere somebody would tell me I'm rooted in norms or culture or Christianity... or something... but I don't care.
If there's one man I love whom I'm sexually intimate with, why the hell would I be sexually active with others. I expect the same from my boyfriend/husband. And I won't compromise.

Gary Kelly said...

I think the answer to the question are all men promiscuous is yes. But promiscuity is the fire and love is the fire extinguisher.

I remember falling head over heels for a bloke one time and thinking as I drove past the local beach, "I don't need to gawk any more. I've got my own man. Who cares about the others?"

People talk about commitment and being faithful as if it were a difficult thing to do. Maybe it is if the love is not strong enough. But in my case, I had no wish to engage with anyone else.

However, there was one teensy weensy problem - he was straight. So it didn't work out. But I'll always remember thinking "I don't need to gawk any more. I've got my own man. Who cares about the others?"

Gary Kelly said...

I think the answer to the question are all men promiscuous is yes. But promiscuity is the fire and love is the fire extinguisher.

I remember falling head over heels for a bloke one time and thinking as I drove past the local beach, "I don't need to gawk any more. I've got my own man. Who cares about the others?"

People talk about commitment and being faithful as if it were a difficult thing to do. Maybe it is if the love is not strong enough. But in my case, I had no wish to engage with anyone else.

However, there was one teensy weensy problem - he was straight. So it didn't work out. But I'll always remember thinking "I don't need to gawk any more. I've got my own man. Who cares about the others?"

JustinO'Shea said...

GARY. . thanks for sharing this. Good insight!

Coop said...

yes, Gary. You said it better than I could.

JustinO'Shea said...

Coopsta. . he has far more experience than we have! lol
Good to have The Experienced around. . . ehyah. ;-)