Monday, August 06, 2007

Are long term gay relationships so different to straight ones?

A few weeks ago, the guy who emailed me about his difficult relationship sent me another email, asking me a question:

Hi GB, hope u are well.

I have just read a comment you left on GBD's blog where you said "it's important to realise that long term gay relationships are more about companionship than sex, because the initial passion can't last forever".

Do u think this is just for gay relationships, or is this just life whether you're straight or gay? If it is just apparent in gay relationships then why is this the case, are gays built so differently?

Actually I know many straight friends who are married and the only reason why they stay in their marriage is the responsibility of not wanting to bring up their kids in a broken family.

I think love dies after a while and it is the companionship and responsibility that keeps a couple together no matter what sexual preference they choose. The difference is that it seems more socially acceptable for gays to have an open relationship than a straight couple.

It's an interesting question and the guy makes some good points. Since I'm not straight I don't know the answer, but I suspect that the guy's view is correct and that long term straight relationships are also more about companionship than sex. I've also heard that after a straight couple have had a child, it can be hard to restart their sex lives afterwards.

Does anyone have any views on this subject?


Trevor said...

I think as a relationship matures, the love in it morphs in different ways, but I don't think it fades, at least not for everyone. My personal experience is that it grows steadily stronger, the compansionship role becomes greater yes, and the sex may become less frequent than hourly, but that too can continue to grow in quality. Sure the initial lust in any relationship will fade - but lust is just a small aspect of love. I'm speaking from a gay perspective but I really don't see there being a great difference from the straight world other than the more widespread acceptance of open relationships in the gay world where sex and love aren't always equivalent. Straight couples certainly have a lot more encouragement and support when they are having troubles than gay ones though.

As for straight couples and sex lives - I saw in a recent study 98% of couples continue to have sex within a few months of childbirth...

Tom Cat of Bondi Beach said...

as usual I agree with Trevor's view.

After child birth the Doctors recommend waiting 4-6 weeks or so before resuming sex - which as a father of 3 meant long weeks with my hand as my sole companion ! lol But certainly big boobed breast feeding mothers are hot esp. if you get to steal some milk !!

Certaibnly my str8 friends do not acknowledge 'Open relationships' but I suppose some of them must be in them.

John Doe said...

It's more common for the gays to have open relationship because it's much easier for a man to understand the promiscuity nature of man, which is something women can never understand and never tolerate. Besides, women generally do not enjoy polygamy while men do, and it's only "fair" for both parties in a relationship to enjoy the polygamy. That's why men are from mars and women are from venus...
While polygamy and morality are not good friend, homosexuality and morality are not in the same camp as well. There are of course more than one camp in this world, but that logic seems to suggest that homosexuality and polygamy can be in amicable term....

Sir Wobin said...

Straight folks marry while gay folks have civil unions. Straight folks have mistresses while gay folks have open relationships. Sometimes the wife knows about the mistress and sometimes they don't, other times they know a bit or suspect enough but don't want the details. Humans are complex beasts. Remember Mitterand's mistress and illegitimate child lived in one wing of the Elisé Palace and the wife had the other wing.

I almost never hear straight folks describe any straight relationship with terms like open/closed/polygamous etc. My mate in Seattle and his wife of 7 years have a live in female "life partner" of 4 years but they don't label their relationship beyond those specific words for their relationships to one another.

The labels might be different but the behavior is just the same.

Paul said...

My partner and I have been together for over 30 years. Far from dying, my love for him gets stronger every year. We don't have sex all the time in the way that we did when we started out, but we still have our moments, and I still think he is a sexy-looking guy. Companionship is not a replacement for love; it is just another aspect of it.

Anki said...

yep it dies
not that i dont believe in love
i dont believe in eternity

Anonymous said...

A gay love for over 30 years. You really touched me paul.

I am an asian. The people here can never accept us. I love a man for more than 7 years without him realising i love him. Its suffering and sometimes i question my existence. I do hope the people's view here would be like of the west.

For me my life is like a joke, a BIG joke.

muse-ic said...

My views on this are changing - I don't know what to think anymore.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Paul. I am really amazed at the 30 yrs, which I am certain you have heard before as well. My faith in the gay community especially in dwindling down everyday, but hearing stories like yours, does put some faith back in. However I am curious. How do you do it? What do you do to stay with each other for so long? I am really curious to know.

Thanks Paul

19lt70 said...

I'm a married woman with six kids in my early 40's. Sex definitely gets better with age and has become MORE IMPORTANT the older I get. I have a handsome husband and wish we weren't both so tired! Although I can appreciate other men who are handsome, I only want my husband. I understand the "open" aspects of long-term gay relationships, but I can't imagine they are not without real challenges regarding jealousy and insecurity, even when the "rules" are followed.