The following are excerpts from an article found in this weeks Washington Blade.
Joe Kort is a gay social worker and therapist who wrote “Ten Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Find Real Love.” Michael Alvear, writes the gay male sex advice column “Need Wood? I have on occasion, not agreed with our "Woody" concerning some of his views.
“After five years together, most gay couples have open relationships,” Kort says. “I think it serves two functions. Number one, it helps gay men find partners. It’s how they look for partners and I also think it keeps relationships together so that these gay male couples who are non-monogamous and cruise, they have emotional fidelity, but they have sexual openness.
“The other reason that it works is that every couple has a sexual desire discrepancy. In gay couples, the one that wants it more can go get it. It relieves the pressure in their relationship in that area. It’s the truth and I can’t hide from it. But I do believe this — you open your relationship up for more problems when you’re not monogamous.”
Michael Alvear, however, says that his observations have led him to conclude that younger gay men are pursuing monogamous relationships.
“I can almost tell you with 90 percent accuracy that whenever I get a letter from somebody who is longing for monogamy or is upset at seeing couples who have open relationships, it’s inevitably somebody younger, someone in their 20s,” Alvear says. “It’s a sort of retro gay, a turn to traditional values and relationships in guys in their 20s.”
Joe Kort says that sex in public can be problematic.
“It’s rude because you’re using a public space for something it wasn’t designed for,” Michael Alvear says. “How would George Michael like it if people starting having sex in the middle of one of his concerts and started driving away people who came in for what that stage was designed for, a concert? How would people at the baths feel if IBM conducted a business meeting in the middle of the place? There’s a time and place for everything.”
Other expert on the subject, Rob Weiss declines to give his opinion on public sex, but points out that its illegality means participants must accept personal responsibility if they are caught.
Rob Weiss, a gay social worker and therapist, says he considers anonymous sex to be more an issue of gender than sexual orientation.
“Certainly, cruising and anonymous sex is endemic to gay culture,” Weiss says. “There’s no question about that, but I don’t think gay men’s pursuit of sex is any different from straight men’s pursuit of sex.”
“It’s not up to me whether to say the laws are right or wrong, but they are,” Weiss says. “So to put yourself in the situation of getting arrested and then turn around and say ‘I’m harassed,’ I have trouble with that.”
Weiss, who wrote “Cruise Control: Understanding Gay Men and Sex Addiction,” says cruising turns problematic when it becomes compulsive.
“When recreational behavior can be identified as an addiction is when it’s having serious consequences to the life of the person that’s doing it,” Weiss says.
The consequences can include betrayal of a relationship, loss of career or job, acquisition of disease, violation of personal belief or value or some form of public humiliation, such as an arrest.
“The people I see in my experience are people who have consequences because of their behavior and can’t seem to stop,” says Weiss, who has been treating people with sex addictions for 12 years. “These guys are acting out sexually … because of the arousal that goes on. Not genital arousal, but the endorphins, out of the chase, the possibilities. It’s not so much about the sex or the orgasm.”Weiss and Kort say they lack statistics on the matter, but suspect that a majority of gay men have experienced sexual addiction. Weiss says that his treatment clinic, the Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles, sees about an average of 150 men a week.
First of all, I am really glad to read that younger gay men are seeking monogamous gay relationships at least, initially.
What I find hard to believe that there exists this vast sea of gay couples constantly screwing around outside their relationships. How emotionally draining can this be? What about faithfulness and love, both sexually and emotional? You can't always have your cake and eat it too without being a really fat pig. And on top of all of this, we want to be able to marry so we can emulate unfaithful straight couples. If this is the widespread opinion of the gay male community, then maybe gay marriage isn't worth the struggle.
On a lighter note, the photo spread above is a belated celebration of National Underwear Day. How I'd like to pat each and every one of your cute butts in celebration. Enjoy.