Dear Straight People,
Open relationships are rampant among gay men! No, I do not have any credible statistics or evidence to back my claim up. But if you happen to have any gay friends, chances are, he will probably tell you in a very jaded tone that monogamous gay relationships are fast becoming nothing but a gay fairy-tale.
Ok, maybe that was a slight exaggeration. Monogamy isn’t completely dead in the gay community, but it isn’t exactly the norm either. While polygamy does exist among heterosexual couples, it isn’t frowned upon in the gay community in the same way that it is among straight people. Polygamous straight couples tend to keep their swinging practices to themselves. Polygamous gay couples on the other hand, are generally pretty open to acknowledging that they aren’t sexually exclusive to one another.
And the general consensus for why open relationships are not only common, but generally accepted among gay men is that simply well, gay men are sluts!
While the dynamics of a gay male relationship and the biological nature of men probably does indeed play a big role in explaining why open relationships are so common among gay men, the underlying reason behind this phenomenon isn’t that simple.
The underlying reason why open relationships are rampant among gay couples is that society hasn’t yet established the rules for gay relationships yet!
You see, whether you realise it or not, straight people have a clear script to follow with regards to finding their happily ever afters. The typical scenario generally goes something like this:
Boy meets girl. Boy asks girl out. Girl accepts and takes a million years to decide on her outfit. Boy picks girl up and pays for her dinner. They go watch some sappy Nicholas Sparks movie. Boy sends girl home. Girl calls her friend and they have an 8-hour long conversation analysing the date. Boy asks girl out again. They go watch another sappy Nicholas Sparks movie. Boy holds girl’s hand for the first time. Boy kisses girl for the first time. Boy sees girl naked for the first time. Boy proposes to girl. Boy and girl get married and live happily ever after.
Ok, maybe your love story didn’t happen exactly like that. Maybe your other half and you went to watch a brainless Michael Bay film instead. Regardless of how your romantic relationship eventually panned out, straight people generally have a script to follow when it comes to dating and relationships. Since the day you were born, everyone from Hollywood to your parents have taught you the ways in which you should go about dating someone from the opposite sex. Although many of you might not realise it, the value of monogamy is deeply instilled in you from a very young age. For example, when TV dramas turn a love triangle into a complicated issue, the possibility of the protagonist choosing both suitors is never considered since the concept of monogamy is already so deeply entrenched into our culture that nobody ever thinks of open relationships as a viable alternative.
The interesting thing here is that monogamy is not a natural occurrence! Rather, monogamy is actually a social arrangement. Some academics theorise that monogamy came about in humans in order to ensure that fathers knew their children so as to facilitate parental care and ensure the well-being of the child. Regardless of how monogamy eventually became the norm, the fundamental point here is that it is merely a social construct.
Gay men however, aren’t as heavily influenced by social norms as straight people are. Gay men have always lived outside the rules of society. The same-sex attractions we experience naturally makes us social misfits. Thus, it follows logically that gay men aren’t going to adhere to social norms as much as straight people do. We are left to our own devices, each of us developing our own perspectives on how a relationship should be like. Some gay men subscribe to the heteronormative concept of monogamy. Others however, find the monogamous nature of heterosexual relationships irrelevant, thereby choosing to have an open relationship instead.
Apart from the lack of rules governing gay relationships, the prevalence of gay hook-up apps and the sheer number of hot horny gay men on it certainly doesn’t make monogamy very appealing or viable either!
So yes, while the male to male dynamic of a gay relationship is certainly a significant contributing factor, it’s not the only reason. The underlying reason behind the prevalence of open relationships among gay men is simply because the invisible treatment of homosexuals in society has inadvertently given gay men the liberty of defining the nature of their relationships.
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