Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pillow talk

Candle burningThe activities are over, and the only lighting in the room is a candle that's almost run out. But it doesn't matter! If anything, I prefer cuddling in the dark :-). Soon though, the cute Mexican guy that I'm with starts telling me about his relationship problems.

"I think I may have to leave him," he tells me quietly.

"Really," I reply softly. "The last time I was round here you were talking about civil partnership ... what's happened?"

"Oh I don't know," he says, "what do you think I should do GB?"

I usually only go into 'agony uncle' mode when someone sends me a Dear GB email, but I don't see any harm in trying to help this lovely guy if I can :-).

"So what's gone wrong?" I ask.

"Well, I don't think we're sexually compatible. We don't have sex any more. He's over ten years older than me. Perhaps he's had too much sex in his life and he doesn't want to do it any more, do that you that's possible?"

"I've never heard of that," I tell him, "and I think it would be quite unwise too! We all need sex to keep us healthy :-)."

"I used to feel so attracted to him, but when I'm being honest with myself, the sex was never that great. But I get on with him so well, living with him. We never argue, and I enjoy going out with him, with friends, shopping, EVERYTHING!"

"How long have you been together now?"

"About two years."

"Hmmm, but that's not very long to have already got tired of each other sexually. I've been with boyfriend S for 18 years, and although we don't have much sex any more, we did have sex together for many many years. And I still enjoy it very much with boyfriend P."

I haven't mentioned boyfriend R to him, and now doesn't seem like the right time.

"Have you tried discussing opening the relationship up?" I continue.

"Yes," he sighs quietly, "but he's very much against it."

"But you're doing it anyway!" I laugh.

"Yes I know," he says, twisting round in my arms to look me in the eye. "How can I resist a guy as cute as you!"

I laugh again, to myself this time, because for a while now I've felt that I'm a bit old to be referred to as 'cute'!

"What about relationship counselling?" I offer after a minute or so, after he's relaxed back into my cuddle again.

"Do you think it would help? The problem is sex!"

"But perhaps he'd see that some sort of open relationship isn't so bad?"

"I don't want to lose him GB, most of the relationship is perfect. But he never tries to start sex with me, and neither do I because I don't feel attracted to him any more :-("

"What would happen if he walked in on us now," I ask after a pause.

"I'd tell him that you're the only one that I've been since we stopped having sex," he says quickly, almost without thinking.

"But that's not true is it," I laugh, "I bet your mobile phone is FULL of numbers of guys like me! Anyway, saying that might not be the best strategy ..."

"Really?"

"Yeah, some guys have open relationships where they insist on emotional monogamy, which often means that each of them can only have sex once with any particular guy."

He wrestles with the word 'emotional', as though he knows what the word means but has never tried saying it before.

"So, all my emotionzz are for him. Yes that's right, I do love him, I don't want to leave him if I can help it."

"But that idea's no good," he continues, "because then I wouldn't be able to see you GB!"

I give him another tight hug. Soon though, his mobile phone rings and it seems like time to go. I'm not sure whether I've helped or not, but perhaps he's got one or two things to think about that he might be able to discuss with his boyfriend.

The interesting thing about the situation is that this guy isn't yet 30, whereas his boyfriend is slightly over 40. Usually, it's the younger guys who are more idealistic, whereas older guys tend to be more pragmatic in terms of open relationships. But then, I have the impression that many of the young idealistic guys are the ones who haven't got themselves into real situations that require compromise. Monogamy is all very well when one starts a relationship, but I reckon that most of us find the reality of long term monogamous relationships impossible to handle!

7 comments:

Soul Seared Dreamer said...

You just floored me with that... I can see you are a true realist.

I agree.. monogamy isn't always easy to maintain.. I think trust and honesty is more important that actual monogamy.

I'd like to think I could handle someone I'm in a relationship with, sleeping with someone else (as long as it isn't behind my back).

I think its up to each person though to determine whether monogamy is for them.. there are too many people with hang-ups that would never be ok with the idea of an open relationship.

Great post.

SubtleKnife said...

I agree, great post.

It looks to me like these two guys have a lot of communicating to do. If the other guy is only just over 40, he's not likely to have just gone off sex unless he has a serious medical problem, but perhaps he noticed that the cute Mexican isn't attracted to him anymore?

Either way, they need to discuss what they are getting from the relationship now, what they would like to get from it and what they can achieve.

And I'm not promising it'll be easy...

David said...

Some of this sounds awfully familiar. There are 12 years between myself and my bf. I'm the younger, I'm now 39 and we've been together 16 years. We pretty much stopped having sex after about 10 years. Like Mexican guy, the sex was never that great but we had - and have - a huge emotional connection.

When the sex dried up I started getting very frustrated because I although I believed mentally in a monogamous relationship, I couldn't stand the fact that my sex life appeared to have dried up at such a young age. We tried to talk about it (although never using an external counsellor) but never got very far.

I ended up playing around with guys from gaydar and about a year later had a real bloodletting when I told him what I'd been up to and, while I agreed to stop while he thought about his reaction, and if he asked me to I would try to return to monogamy, I couldn't say I would stay that way forever.

I was lucky, it took a few months before we sorted it out but he did end up agreeing that I could play away because he trusted that I did really love him.

It has significantly helped our relationship, because when I feel the need, I can go elsewhere and get it, and it's taken a major point of tension out of our relationship. Unlike GB, I don't think I'm looking for additional BFs, but I'd be lying if I hadn't built a friendship with some of the guys I've seen more than once.

How does this relate to Mexican guy? Well, it's tough, because like you I might have expected this situation later than 2 years. But if he really feels an emotional attachment to his bf, but doesn't feel that he can turn off his sex drive, then he needs to face up to his bf and face the fact that he may have to make the choice between the two. But it isn't going to resolve itself without some communication.

Anonymous said...

Hm, Sex is one thing, but to have some one who really cares might be sometimes be more important I would say, as you can get instant gay sex at every corner and sex with strangers can be rewarding, as nothing is attached and expected - and then you go home and have someone who cares for you might be a good pragmatic combination

browneyes said...

Hi there

I really enjoy your blog but the more i read it the more i wonder if its a way for you to reassure yourself that no ones hurt by the way things are. I'm sorry but i think you're wrong about this. I actually feel really sorry for your main boyfriend and even your second boyfriend. How can they ever feel emotionally close to you or trust you when you keep sleeping behind their back with a variety of men? The main thing that strikes me from your blog is a sense of emptiness. You keep attacking the concept of monogamy but it provides one thing that you dont have - true closeness and real trust. I get the sense that youre in limbo - you cant move on from your first BF and you cope with it by sleeping around. I guess that works on one level but do you really feel fulfilled? I guess im old fashioned but ive been with my partner for nearly five years, i know i can trust him implicitly and it would tear me apart if we lost that. Am i naive to think thats more important than being able to drop by a complete strangers house for sex - just seems so empty.

GB said...

Thanks for the comments Soul Seared Dreamer, SubtleKnife, and especially David who's experience is especially relevant :-).

But I think the Anonymous commenter must be a new guy because he seems to be saying what I'm always saying! Indeed, as browneyes points out, I'm always "attacking the concept of monogamy". But I really don't think it's right that only monogamy provides true closeness and real trust. Both those things are earned by long term association with someone, by the two people seeing how each other behaves and how they treat each other. In my case, both boyfriend P and boyfriend S know they can rely on me, because whenever they've had to rely on me in the past I've been there for them. Perhaps when browneyes has been with his boyfriend for 15+ years then he'll understand how shallow his relationship would be if it was only focussed on monogamy.

GB xxx

Oliver said...

I'd have to say that I understand the Mexican guy. Right now I'm in the third year of a relationship and my mind, well my second mind, is starting to go to other men.

My boyfriend isn't open to the idea of a non monogamous relationship. Plus I live in a smallish town, so if I did anything he would find out eventually. That's why I'm staying 'faithful'.

However I was in the same situation a few years ago (2 years together, monogamous), and I ended up cheating on him. We then split up. I can tell that my present relationship is going to go the same way.

So what I just want to say from my limited experience is that David is right. Mexican guy needs to communicate and unless his bf is willing to change, or at least accept it, he will have to choose between his boyfriend and a happy sex life.