Thursday, April 24, 2008

Monogamy? A cautionary tale ...

Patrick had been with his boyfriend Colin for five years now and was happy. Although he knew that his previous boyfriend Gary had loved and cared for him enormously, Gary had always been evasive when the subject of monogamy was raised.

"But why do you think that monogamy is so important?" Gary would ask, "Don't you think that I love you? Don't you think that you're my top priority all the time?"

"I know you love me and everything," Patrick would reply, "It's just that I saw what my father's infidelity did to my mother, it almost destroyed her :-(. I always swore to myself that I wouldn't let that happen to me!"

Eventually Patrick decided that he had to find a boyfriend who could commit to monogamy, and so by mutual consent Gary and Patrick went their separate ways. It didn’t take Patrick long to find a nice guy called Colin who also wanted an uncomplicated monogamous relationship.

Although the honeymoon period of his relationship with Colin was a long time ago now, the two of them had settled into a comfortable every day existence which didn't give Patrick any cause for concern. He knew that the split with Gary had been the right decision. Monogamy was just so important to him.

One day, Colin came home to Patrick with some good news.

"Guess what, I've just been head-hunted!" announces Colin, "I'm not sure yet whether I'll be offered the job but I've got an excellent chance. It would mean that I'll have to travel to Asia on business regularly, but it's a much better role! The new firm has also got a much better profile that my current firm so I think I should go for it :-)."

"Yes I guess," replies Patrick, "but I'll miss you terribly when you're away :-(. Anyway, I know I can trust you :-)."

After a series of hard interviews, Colin gets offered the job and soon he finds himself travelling to Hong Kong or Singapore every month or two. But as time passes, doubts start to arise in Patrick's mind.

"Where were you when I phoned you in your hotel around 11pm three nights ago?" asks Patrick after Colin has just returned from a trip to Singapore, "I thought you said that you had to work on a presentation for the following day!"

"The clients insisted on going to that girlie bar Top Ten," laughs Colin, "well of course I didn't want to go but I didn't have any choice!"

"Anyway," continues Colin, "where were YOU when I phoned yesterday morning? You've always got your iPhone with you when I'm around!"

"Actually I did have it with me," explains Patrick, "but I'd forgotten to put it on charge the night before and I didn't realise that it was out of power until the afternoon."

Much more time passes.

Years later, by chance Gary spots his ex-boyfriend Patrick on the street.

"Wow it's Patrick isn't it?" says Gary with a huge smile on his face, touching Patrick on the shoulder to grab his attention, "I haven't seen you for YEARS! How's that boyfriend Colin :-)?"

"Oh, well, we split up ages ago," replies Patrick looking mildly upset by the subject.

"Really? What went wrong?"

"Well, Colin started travelling to Asia a lot on business. One day on his return, I found a pair of undershorts in his luggage that weren't his. He said that the hotel laundry must have made a mistake but at the time I didn't believe him. We gradually just ended up mistrusting each other and then quarrelling all the time. He wouldn't change job so in the end our relationship just disintegrated. Anyway … did you find another boyfriend after me?"

"Yes of course, actually I think it was only a few months after you started going out with Colin," answers Gary, "we're very happy together :-)."

"And are you monogamous?"

"Oh you know me," laughs Gary, "I wouldn't commit to that on principle, but in fact I can't remember when I had sex with a guy who wasn't my boyfriend! I guess I just got bored of all that ages ago. Of course my boyfriend thinks the same way as I do, he agrees that it's the positive, caring commitments that we make to each other that are much more important than that old monogamy issue! Anyway, who are you with now?"

"Well, actually," says Patrick slowly, trying to find the words, "since Colin I've been single :-(."

"Awww, sorry to hear that mate," replies Gary, "Look, I've got to dash now, but you must come round for supper with us sometime :-)?"

"Yes. OK. I suppose …," says Patrick looking a bit uncertain, "what's your cell phone number, I'll give you a call soon?"

But although Gary gives Patrick his number, for some reason Patrick never calls him.


Anonymous said...

Whats the point your trying to make GB? Do you not think if one of your boyfriends finds out about the other, he will get tad jealous, even if he does not want to be and even if he does understand you not wanting to be in a monogamous relationship.

John Doe said...

His point is there is no point being monogamous because it is right. You don't have an affairs with other guys because you don't want to, not because you can't. It should come from your heart.

But how many of us can find the love of our life, the "Mr. Right", that we love him so much to the point of totally losing interest in other men? It is just fairy tale.

Anonymous said...


Usually i adore your blog. As a gay, aspiring Investment Banker I respect you enormously. However, this post dissapointed me. I understood that your point of view was that monogamy was right for some people, and polygamy for others? I feel a bit like you were trying to influence readers with this story. I am monogamous in my current relationship but if it ever finished I wouldnt rule out polygamy. Surely it is a private choice? Not something to be warned against?

Many Thanks

GB said...

I think you're right about jealousy first-anonymous-commenter, whoever you are, because my boyfriend P and my boyfriend S always seem uncomfortable when the subject of the other one comes up. But I'm not sure how you relate that to this little story.

Yes John Doe, I think the message you're suggesting is in this story. And indeed, the fairy tale existence where two guys fall in love and stay that way forever is very very rare. So many guys waste their time trying to find that, not realising that excellent relationships are possible in the real world but one has to be pragmatic.

I agree that how one conducts one's relationship is a private matter second-anonymous-commenter, whoever you are. But there are lots of posts in this blog which express my views, whether people are influened by what I write or not is their choice.

The truth is, this little story popped into my mind a few days ago so I thought I'd post it. Any resemblance in the story to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

GB xxx

Masturbedroom said...

The iPhone was only launched last year so indeed any resemblance in the story to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Hmm, am wondering... Do you think S has found your blog GB?

Anonymous said...

I have been in a monogomous relationship for 20 years out of choice. I think it suits some people and not others; as the story recognises it's not for everyone and you need to recognise it's not always what your partner wants. We have tried polygamy, breaking up and sleeping with other people, threesomes and everything else but we prefer sex with each to that with any-one else. I am not convinced it's that rare. I agree with the story's point and if I were in a new relationship I would have no view either way about it being mono/poly. I think some of those who object to the story may just be finding the tone of voice a bit twee.

Anonymous said...

I like this different approach of your's GB but I think I like reading about your happenings more! :)

I think I can identify with your story albeit on different circumstances.


Anonymous said...


T'was great reading your blog especially the first time here...mes a banker in india...dyu travel sometimes,wud lovew to meet.


MadeInScotland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I hate to say it but I was also shocked by the story cause I did think at first-this is too personal?

What's your point?

Yeah magnanimity works for some and not but it did feel like you were trying to say people who believe in it are too idealistic-it felt condescending.

GB-you're not ALONE-so this is not personal, actually the majority of gay men seem to think this way-hence marriage and all those equal rights issues just fade away...

If this is just a story you liked-why don't you write one about a magnanimous couple?

There's a few-Towleroad in the US has a wonderful story about a couple who were together for years...

Look-we know humans are not naturally meant to be with only one person-I get that because it's true...but humans are also known for their resilience and stoicism..

You may cynically believe that they cheat in the background and all power to I always find it ironic how these-'players' seem to go out with people who want to just be with one person..? Isn't that selfish?

If you believe in that shit-go for it! As long as you get a partner who does EXACTLY the same as you.

Anonymous said...

Man, from someone who thought he was in a monogomous relationship (of 8years), and still puts up with a cheater after taking him back over and over again I find this "moral parable" just a bit grating. Now I am stepping out on him, oh yea its exciting - at first - and I got no lack of opportunities b/c we are both hot, I am under 40, and he is just turing 40 but looking much better, however, I miss the domestic life actually. I want to have kids, care for someone sick etc. but now there is this other agenda, the sex agenda and it takes time and serves as a diversion. Not maybe for you, as you are in a materalistic, capitalistic occupation and self-interested mindset but since I have been in engaged in this new past-time I myself see the AynRANDist mindset growing influence in my life and I really don't care for it, truthfully. The most insidious part of your blog is your attempt to convert others to your way of thinking by presenting the other side as a straw-man argument. Sure monogomy is a minority movement in gay culture but your attempts to belittle it are demeaning and childish.

GB said...

Hmmm, I can't help feeling that some of these comments are arguing against my right to write whatever I want here :-(. Comments like:

"I feel a bit like you were trying to influence readers with this story."

"... why don't you write [a story] about a [monogamous] couple?"

"The most insidious part of your blog is your attempt to convert others to your way of thinking ..."

So just to make sure no one is in any doubt, this is the way it works. I'll write whatever I want. My postings might be little episodes in my life, Dear GB replies, stories like this one, or whatever I feel like at the time. And then readers are welcome to leave comments criticising my views, giving different opinions, even criticising my writing style LOL ("... the tone of voice a bit twee"). But please don't try and deny me my right to freedom of expression on my own blog!

GB x

Anonymous said...

Hey its true its your blog, u do the work to keep it up, u paid for it, (at least untill you get fired as a result of the credit colapse) you can say what the hell you want and lie your way to sucess because isnt that what its all about? Why try to present both sides of an argument when a one-sided one pretending to be rational is most effective? Thats what got you to where you are at, lets you think you are being honest with yourself and what lets you sleep at night right?

Unknown said...

Isn't this more about Gary not trusting anyone and not feeling secure rather than monogomy?

John Doe said...

Although comment on comment is never a good idea, I need to ask this question:-
"Sure monogomy is a minority movement in gay culture but your attempts to belittle it are demeaning and childish."
Is GB trying to belittle monogamy here? I don't think that he is.
Some people are made for monogamy, some people aren't. Some people met their Mr. Right and their love is so overwhelming that they lose interest in any other men. Good for them! GB is apparently not one of them.
But is he posting that story to show his DISAPPROVAL towards their choices or their lifestyle? I don't think so.
GB is not judging anyone here, so please don't judge him.

GB said...

Thanks for your support John Doe :-). Certainly it was not my intention to disapprove of monogamous couples.

GB xxx

Maverick said...

I have to submit that I feel this is actually an attempt by GB to justify his own lifestyle - but not to us - to himself. Which of your Boyfriends would you consider you want to wake up with when you're old GB? And if so is the other aware and happy about that? I personally would not want to be Nr2 ! Perhaps the only way for the Nr2 to get past that would be to have offered him some form of financial security... But then would that just be the oldest profession there is? I don't know, I'm no expert and like GB - my word is not Gospel - just opinion. Yes, I think I would quite enjoy an open relationship if it was forced upon me - but then what happens if I meet someone I like more than my Boyfriend? Or he does the same? I think I would prefer a little more security myself - but then perhaps thats old-fashioned. 'Who wants to live forever anyway?' - Most gays don't truly belive they will reach old age - because we see so few still around together in their seventies... When I am old and grey(er) I would like to think I have more than just a dog and a porn collection to wake up to each morning... but two boyfriends - hey I have an ego - and probably could pull that off in one bed for my latter years - but can you imagine the bickering... I think I'd rather have a dog and a porn collection!

Rex D said...

In my experience, I find the people who are most adamant about having monogamy in their relationship are the one's who are more insecure. Monogamy for them is a control and trust issue. They want to be the only one that their mate desires. I have one of those relationships in which my partner and I may play with other people, but only together... it's tedious to me, but how he rationalizes it and keeps it within his realm of acceptability. Although I realize it's silly, but what I find I desire more is not the freedom to sleep with other people, but more the freedom to feel as though I can. If allowed, I highly doubt I would ever have sex with someone alone, absent the presence of my partner. But what I do want is the ability to have the fantasy that it could happen if I wanted to it, the constant POTENTIAL that if that is what I wanted then that is what I could do. Playing with other people, but only together, seems like a subconscious way to make it okay in the psyche.