I often refer to myself as the West Coast Carrie Bradshaw, which means I have a gay male best friend. There are other gay men that I’m friends with, too. Interestingly enough, I don’t have many lesbian friends. Since I often frequent a popular gay club in my hometown, I’m exposed to lots of conversations that are usually about dating. So a typical night out is meeting friends at the bar, talking, sharing stories and laughing.
“Why do I have so much trouble with online dating when you guys seem to have really good luck?” I asked the group of gay men I was with.
“I don’t know,” said one guy.
“Well, gay guys like to hook up,” said another one.
Most of these guys have categorized themselves into groups such as bears or cubs. I don’t really hang out with feminine guys. I suppose you could say I have “straight” gay friends who are masculine but also loving and slightly in tune with their feminine sides.
These guys talk about their dating situations and they’re all so varied. One of my friends dates a lot and he has no trouble meeting men. Some guys tell me they get on Grinder or Growler and they find someone. Does this translate into a relationship? Sometimes, but mostly it’s friends with benefits.
The gay male culture seems to have many open relationships but that’s not to say that straight men don’t. Straight relationships have swingers but it’s either kept private or it’s not that common. One of the other guys has shared how he was in a relationship but his boyfriend wasn’t as sexual as he wanted, so he was granted permission to see other men. “I should be more selfish with him,” the guy’s boyfriend said.
One of the guys shared that he has an open relationship with his boyfriend but they don’t see anybody else too often. He talked about using protection and being safe.
When discussing monogamy with them, it is something that doesn’t happen too easily. Some of them have had loving relationships and when it ended, they were crushed. Men do have feelings—even gay men. I used to hang out with some lesbians and I know for a fact they can have monogamous relationships; still some of them don’t want to settle down.
You can’t really say because someone is gay or straight that monogamy is more or less likely. I think if you love someone and don’t want to see anybody else, then you make that happen. Trust is both straight and LGBT-friendly—if it’s used the right way. I know a gay guy who is in a serious, committed and monogamous relationship. The pair travels, do things together and love each other.
Maybe, because men are testosterone driven, gay hook-ups are more common. Most men like to pursue, to chase and enjoy the conquest of landing someone. Much like straight men I’ve dated, sometimes when they have conquered you, they move on to someone else. Dating is challenging and getting someone to be monogamous is hard.
With online dating, it’s made monogamy seem like a dirty word when in fact, it’s a sacred thing. It seems there are so many options to choose from, it could make you wonder how you can choose just one person to date? You might also be curious if someone else out there is better for you?
In the straight game of dating, getting a guy to commit and be monogamous takes work. Maybe that’s because it’s not the right person. It would seem if you are with the right person, monogamy would come effortlessly.
Love is something most of us want. Whether you decide you want monogamy to be part of your love relationship is a personal choice. Some are OK with open relationships, some like the excitement of hook-ups while some want a deep, meaningful relationship that’s monogamous.
“I miss my ex,” a friend said. “He’s cute but he has issues.” He’s been seemingly single ever since they broke up but he’s had plenty of men to choose from and go out with. My friend went on to tell me the story of how things didn’t work out. It sounded like my dating stories. Whether you’re gay or straight—we share the same issues of dating, commitment, relationships, monogamy and love.
I believe monogamy is something you can have in any relationship as long as there are two trusting partners who are committed to the idea of being with each other. Monogamy is based on trust, commitment and love. Maybe you just have to be ready and done with the hook-ups to want a serious relationship. When you do, monogamy can be a really sweet thing.
By Ali Kay, Guest Columnist
Ali Kay is a freelance writer and award-winning journalist who specializes in writing about relationships and considers herself a crusader for love.
Powered by Compete partner, MyOatmeal.com.