Friday, August 11, 2006

I Beg to Disagree

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.


The_Gay_Dude said...

We can pat them together.....and I don't know what to think or say about monogamy....I just know what works for me.....and that's sexual and emotional fidelity....but it's a big world....and each person finds their groove....I guess :)

roque said...

National Underwear Day? I must add that to my calendar!

Alan said...

I know that if I get into another relationship (a big if), I will want monogamy. I'm too old and too tired to play the open relationship game, to be honest.

I must say, though, that I have no problem staying single and playing the multiple guy dating game, so I wonder if there really is a difference...

Adrian said...

I'm 27 and am not looking for love, just do'n the do with half a hope that love will find me. Maybe I'll come full circle and want an open relationship some day? Some people do, some don't.
As a child, I think seeing sex in public would have confused the hell out of me (in a bad way).

I'm happy that as a gay man, I can make it up as I go along so to a large degree I find the hetero-normative comparisons irrevelent.

The only unnatural sex act is that which you cannot perform.
Dr Alfred Kinsey

Teddy Pig said...

Oops! I guess I am going to have to be the nasty hateful controversial gay guy here. I loved the comment made in the article that most guys looking for a monogamous relationship were “young”. To me that keys right into the fact they are not just “young”, but inexperienced and obviously falling into thinking possessiveness and control somehow equals “real love”. Sad to say but their monogamous ideals will not help them weather the hard stuff very much if that is all they have going for them.

I for one never did understand how smart people could invest so much emotionally into the idea of exhibitionist fidelity (like that is a reality and not the main reason we see so many couple break up?) and yet not be able to see it for the foundation of fucking sand they are building their house on.

I am in no way, shape, or form, going to participate in a relationship that could last for years and yet will (Let me state for a fact that it will) fall apart the minute someone gets a drunken blow job in the back of some bar or happens to be horny when the other is not around and bam! It's all over, it's failed, all you invest means nothing and why??? Because boys... because you a man wanted to emulate mommy and daddy when none of that works for two guys.

I'm in no way saying there should not be rules and compromises and agreements that you base your relationship on. I am just more focused on communication and trust and basing my relationships on realistic ideals that help in facing the real hardships (that I have had to deal with) together than I am wrapping myself into some ludicrous fantasy of playing mommy and daddy when I want to be in a relationship with another man, that’s a man, not some fucked up drag queen.

Something a lot of youngsters obviously need to realize is “sex is sex” and love does not come from between your legs and it’s best to leave the screaming to the drag queens.

Teddy Pig said...

Now that you have heard my rant I guess I feel like really fucking with your mind if you read all that.

I so far only have had open relationships by discussion and agreement. But... You know what, they tend to be pretty fucking monogamous for the most part from my experience and well... Is that not the "real thing"? Monogamy because you focus on each other first and not because you want to possess the other. Now, there's a thought.

If you love someone set them free.

The_Gay_Dude said...

I don't like the whole agist reference in this story....My values about monogamy haven't changed with age.....They've stayed the same.....and I wouldn't change them just because I was hurt by an unfaithful person....or because someone I loved told me it would work out if you just let me do this stuff on the side. I know couples who have been together for years and have been completefully faithful.....and i know couples who have been together for years....who are openly into doing stuff on the side.....It's finding what works for u :)

Adrian said...

Hi ‘hateful nasty controversial gay guy.’ – I think you should do something about that before trying to have effective dialogue coz you really do have some good points in there that even an 'inexperienced young person' can see.

Spider said...

I wish I could figure out where I stand on this issue - as a 47 year old single man, I have had the relationship of fidelity - or so I thought...

I love the concept of a monogamous relationship - but I also know how I feel about personal freedom...

I guess in the long run, what is really important is who you end up in bed with at the end of the night... and as long as that person tells me they love me - and they are there for me when I need them, and I know and trust that - then I guess at this point in my life that is good enough for me...







Teddy Pig said...

"I think you should do something about that before trying to have effective dialogue coz you really do have some good points"

Oh hell no... Then everyone would take me for a nice guy and I aint no nice guy. I'm a crotchity old bottom damn it! I simply dump the hype.

But... Certain Tops still like me. I don't know why, but they do.

rexman said...

“After five years together, most gay couples have open relationships..."

This guy is smoking low grade crack to believe that statement is true for most gay/lez couples.

Tony said...

I'm hearing Spider's comments right now!

By the way Buff, I don't want you patting my 'arse'....I want you buried in it and spanking me!!!

northernlad said...

i think most gay couples try open relationships and then close them back up very quickly

i think its hard for anyone , gay or straight to have a long-term relationship these days!!!

wow - what a great blog site - i just love it
keep up the great work!

northernlad ***
:)))) gay & proud ****