Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Reality of Same Sex Marriage

This is from the advice column from the most recent edition of a free weekly, East Bay Express, that is available at many retail stores and coffee shops in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, i.e., especially Berkeley and Oakland. The column is the syndicated Savage Love and the questions and answers do address sexuality issues in some detail. Dan Savage is gay, married his partner in Vancouver in 2005 and he and his partner have one adopted son. He is a strong advocate for same-sex marriage.

I am posting these two selections because of the discussion of adding additional sexual partners to a same-sex marriage:
I'm 35, gay, and in a six-year relationship. My husband — not really, here in Tennessee, but I call him that anyway — is 38, and we have a great relationship. We have been monogamous up till now but are open to inviting select others into our bed. This was prompted by a friend we recently made whom we both find attractive and who has expressed an interest in us both. He is 24, cute, and just starting out in Gaydom. We don't expect anything long-term, just a nice, mellow friend-with-benefits scenario.

Any suggestions as to issues we might want to discuss up front?

Good Gay Guys

Tell the 24-year-old not to expect anything long-term, GGG, and let him know that while you will be treating him like a piece of meat, you will also be treating him like a human being. Make sure he understands that his presence in your lives — and your bed — is meant to be fun and temporary. You two get to spice it up with some strange; he gets to benefit from your wisdom, experience, and cocks. And tell him that while he'll have a blast with you two, he shouldn't pass on a date with a potential boyfriend, should one appear on the scene — but so long as you three are friends-with-benefiting-it-up, you would like to be informed about any other sexual contacts he might have.

Then show him the ropes, teach him about sexual safety, encourage him to open up to you guys about anything he's ever wanted to try, help him find his place in Gaydom, and when it comes to an end — as it will and should — make an effort to remain friends.

And directly below was this one. I assume the juxtaposition of these two was deliberate.
I am a gay male. A couple of months ago, I developed a friendship with a gay married couple. We hit it off great — I really enjoy their company. Then they took me aside and "invited" me into their marriage, and so now I'm in one of those "polyamorous" groups. I have never been in one before.

I thought I would be able to open myself up to both of them, but for some reason I can't seem to feel love for them both at the same time. I've always seen myself as a strict-monogamy kind of guy. I thought a three-way would be fun, but when I'm with two guys, I feel like I'm just a piece of meat. I am probably not making much sense, but I would like some advice, if you could, please. I feel inadequate because I can't feel comfortable in this relationship.

Feel Like A Prude

So ... after knowing you for two months, this couple essentially proposed to you, inviting you "into their marriage," and you accepted. Hmm. Exit this marriage at once, FLAP. Not because you're a prude — clearly you're open to trying new things — but because at two months, they were idiots to propose and you were an idiot to accept.

Backing up: Trying something and not liking it doesn't mean that you're a prude, FLAP, it only means that "it" either wasn't for you or that you tried "it" with the wrong person(s). I suspect the latter in this case. If these guys, after two months, had invited you to hang out with them, to roll around with them, to drop by twice a week for a leisurely spit roasting, I suspect you would've had a better experience, FLAP. Inviting you over to be treated like a piece of meat — and a human being — would've been honest. All you could really be at two months is a piece of meat and a friend-with-benefits; you couldn't be a husband and in love with both of them equally. Their unreasonable expectations, and your attempt to live up to them, ruined what could've been a nice little affair.

From here.


Dale Matson said...

So, This doesn't sound like the "long term committed monogamous relationship" mantra we keep hearing about

Andy said...

Thank you Sister Perpetua for this post. There's noting I could weigh in on that hasn't been said within the text. I count a number of Gay men as dear friends and I can say that their choice of lifestyle has left them open to a legion of heartache.

When we bury our heads in the sand and attempt to take some so-thought "high road", we not only ignore their plight, but leave them out to languish in their sadness.

Seth said...

How is one cherry-picked article representative of an entire group of people?

Would news articles focusing on John Ensign, Mark Sanford, and Chip Pickering show the 'reality' of traditional marriage? That if your husband is a conservative politician, he's probably cheating on you?

No. Those are outliers, and it's dishonest to generalize about an entire population based on one or two reports.

Perpetua said...

Hi Seth,

Dan Savage isn't treating the inclusion of a third into the gay marital bed as an outlier. From his responses to the queries, he views this as quite normal and acceptable.

With regard to traditional marriages, I don't think anyone would claim that cheating husbands are outliers. The new September Atlantic Monthly even addresses the subject in the book review section.