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Are Gay Men Incapable of Monogamy? Conventional Norms Questioned

Does sexuality determine promiscuity and monogamy? Are us gay men and women more likely to have a mutual understanding while still being in an open and honest relationship? Today monogamy in gay relationships were examined resulting from an article from the Huffington Post discussing the beautiful and majestic silver haired reporter Anderson Cooper and the suspected but not confirmed cheating rumors.

After several photos were discovered showing Anderson’s boyfriend, Ben Maisani, kissing and holding hands with another man in a park over the weekend, this sparked a conversation of monogamy in gay relationships. The writer then leads into the assertion that in most gay relationships ” in the queer community, which has fewer hangups and restrictions on sex and less rigid parameters on with whom and how we love and lust, open relationships have long provided the stability of partnership with the excitement of being able to meet and sleep with other people.”

The writer feels this factor of gay relationships is unknown outside the community and  that most of  America is “barely ready for gay marriage (and, in most states, entirely unprepared for it). Right wingers are quick to argue that if they give their blessing to gay marriages, other unthinkable terrors, like polygamy and polyamory, won’t be far behind.” So what if the religious right has problems with gay marriage. Does that mean we should stop striving for that right because we have variation in our relationships JUST like straight couples? Absolutely not.

The article suggests a liberation of close minded thinking and “it’s time to start breaking down our antiquated ideas about romance and relationships, many of which are largely based on ideas of control and fear, and start talking openly and honestly about what really works best for each of us”

A couple of years ago, The New York Times suggested in an article that in gay male relationships, monogamy isn’t a huge issue and is not a “central feature for many”. The research also suggested that “gay men and lesbians argue that, as a result, they have stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships“but with gay people it does not have such negative connotations.” I don’t agree with this notion that monogamy is absent in same sex relationships so much as it’s what each person in the relationship defines as acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

Another article supported this claim that gay men are less likely to have monogamous relationships but did note that men do desire and appreciate long-term loving relationships.” 

The one thing I wish these studies had covered that seems paramount in my none too important opinion is the age groups used in their studies. Were these all gay men in their early 20s to mid 30s because there’s such an ambiguous timetable for when men settle down.

Also it would’ve been nice had the studies compared when/if these men came out as that also may have contributed to these results. I’m not making excuses, but if you’re going to make such a strong declarations, all of these variables may have contributed to the results.

I think my only issue with the Huffington Post article is that to me is not that it insinuates that most gay couples have this arrangement. There’s just as much variation in relationships of gay couples as there are in straight ones and everyone needs to understand what monogamy means to themselves and their partner. And it’s about preference too of what type of relationship you want and what’s acceptable to you. Regardless of whether it’s an open or monogamous relationship, in my none too important opinion communication is key.

So do you think gay men are less likely or incapable of monogamy? Are open relationships happy and last longer? What does it take to make it work? Whether it is about cheating or an open relationship I just hope Anderson is happy.



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3 thoughts on “Are Gay Men Incapable of Monogamy? Conventional Norms Questioned”

  1. Its naive to suggest belonging and intimacy can be set aside, that dispensing with monogamy doesnt involve some emotional reaction to a partner having sex with a stranger (unless sociopathy is a feature of our ilk). Monogamy ‘not a central feature’, does not explain if its a default position because gays are incapable of one on one commitment or a lifestyle choice. Sad, either way, as I and I’m sure many others long for a committed relationship. Without side orders of random ‘spice’.

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