Monday, December 29, 2008

Email from a guy with relationship difficulties

Just over two weeks ago, the following email arrived in my inbox:

Dear GB,

I have been reading your blog and I've wanted to write to you for advice but haven't had the chance. Now I am so heartbroken and I need a third party to tell me what they think I should do.

To start with, I am a 28 year old oriental guy living in NYC. I am working in the financial industry like you, but not a banker so my job is pretty safe in the current situation. Anyway, I am dating an American guy who is just over twelve years older than me. That is not an issue with me but the problem is that he is in a situation like you were before. He is living with his ex because the ex can't stand on his own feet. This is what he told me which I sort of believe. But the problem is that I really like this guy and I am the type of person who is really paranoid and needs to do things to confirm what he says. I feel like he is telling me the truth, because he even tells me that they sleep in the same bed, with one duvet but with a pillow in between them. They don't cuddle or kiss and those things. But how would I know. That makes me paranoid. And every time he comes over to my place he has to go home. If he stays he needs to tell his ex that he has an office function so that he has to go to a hotel or something. This makes me feel like he has to go home for his ex not to think that there is something going on. We spend a lot of time together though. He comes over after work if he is not going to the gym and he stays until around midnight, so he doesn't really spend time with his ex. Except when he gets home and his ex is there. On weekends, he wakes me up with a call and he comes over and we have breakfast then he goes home to do some stuff then we meet somewhere. This makes me feel a little bit confident about our relationship but still there are doubts.

Another problem I have is that every time I ask him what we are, he won't say we're boyfriends or in a relationship, instead he'll say that we are "dating". This makes me feel like he is not over with his ex, or that he is embarrassed by me. By the way, we started seeing each other last February. At that time I had just broken up with first bf who I was with for over 6 years. This guy that I am seeing has now been living with his ex for almost 7 years, but he tells me that they haven't been boyfriends for the last two of those years. What he told me was that they just fell out so they don't spend time together any more. I think he is in a similar situation to what you were before your ex moved out. But you could afford to buy your ex a house but my guy is not doing that well. I am happy to move in with my guy. We actually almost live together. But he won't take the risk. I don't think he trusts me that well yet, and he's lived in the same place for years.

Now I am sulking because I recently found out that he lied to me. He organized a party at the favourite restaurant of his ex in TriBeCa, I wasn't invited of course, and I asked him several times where this party was but he lied a couple of times. This really annoyed me off because the party was also on his ex's birthday. So I don't know whether the party was also a birthday party for his ex. I am really confused and need third party advice. I told him not to call me ever again when I told him that I know all about their party. I don't know if I was too paranoid in making some calls to find out if he was telling the truth, but the point is that he lied to me several times. I found out because I am just so resourceful. So I don't know what else he's lied to me about. This email now seems very long but I am having a drink with this and I just want to give you all the details. I am going to send this without reading what I wrote. Hope to hear from you and good luck! I really enjoy your blog and get excited when my RSS tells me there's a new posting from you.

Many Thanks,

The situation that this reader describes is indeed similar to the situation that I was in with boyfriend P and ex-boyfriend S. Although I lived with ex-boyfriend S, I spent time with boyfriend P whenever I could. However there are some differences. I only started calling ex-boyfriend S an ex-boyfriend once he'd moved out of the house that we shared, whereas the reader's guy already calls the guy that his lives with his ex. Also, in my situation both ex-boyfriend S and boyfriend P knew of each other's existence, however it's not clear whether "the ex" knows about the reader or not.

My best guess is that the guy is fond of both the reader and his ex-boyfriend and can't decide which is more important. The reader faces the classic problem, being in love with a guy who's already got some kind of partner, so his hope is that the guy will eventually leave his partner and start living with him instead. The current situation is clearly unsatisfactory for the reader, so I think he should try and move ahead in two distinct ways. Firstly, the reader clearly loves this guy so I think it's worth trying to deepen the relationship with him. However, I think he also needs to start looking for someone else, in case the relationship with this guy turns out to be a dead end.

To deepen the relationship, it strikes me that the next natural stage would be to start meeting each other's friends and family. They've been "dating" for almost a year, so if this hasn't happened yet then it should start soon. In particular, if "the ex" who lives with the reader's guy is really now a flatmate rather than a boyfriend, then there's no reason why the reader's guy can't introduce the reader to him. If a meeting with "the ex" is initially too difficult for whatever reason, no doubt the reader's guy has other friends that he could introduce the reader too. In any case, if the reader's guy is telling the truth, two years should be sufficient time for "the ex" to have accepted the break-up and to have accepted that his former boyfriend will be looking for someone else. Indeed, one can envisage a situation where the reader is fully integrated into the guy's life as his new boyfriend, and where they socialise with each other's friends even though the guy still has "the ex" as a flatmate. The key difference between "fuckbuddies" and boyfriends is that one never introduces a fuckbuddy to one's friends, so the reader needs to get the guy to move beyond the fuckbuddy stage! However the reader must be aware that for the relationship with this guy to work, it'll be important for him to get along with all the guy's friends including "the ex".

In terms of looking elsewhere, I don't think the reader needs to break-up with his guy, or to start looking for a boyfriend behind the guy's back. Instead, there needs to be some kind of discussion between the two of them about the future. When I first got to know boyfriend P and regarded him as a part-time boyfriend, I would always encourage him to try and find a full-time boyfriend because I wanted him to be happy. We still saw each other when we could, but I was aware that the situation might change if he did find a full-time boyfriend. I think the discussion between the reader and this guy should be along the same lines. There's no reason to break their connection, but the guy needs to understand that the reader will be trying to find a full-time boyfriend, assuming that the guy himself isn't available. It'll be a difficult discussion, but open and honest communication is vital in any relationship, so whatever happens they need to be able to discuss these kind of matters if their relationship is to last.

One last thought is that the reader probably needs to relax a bit, and try and become a bit less paranoid. It sounds as though he's come a bit too clingy and needy, and that's never attractive. If he does ever start living with this guy, I get the impression that he'd constantly be worrying about where the guy is, and what he's doing. That won't work. Instead, the reader needs to reach a point where he's confident and happy about the pivotal role that he plays in the guy's life, so that he can let go of any anxieties related to the whether the guy loves him or not because he'll know for certain that he does :-).

Do any other readers have any thoughts on this situation?

Thursday, December 25, 2008


When I met my colleague P and his boyfriend D for drinks last month, we all agreed that we'd go out for dinner together before Christmas. We also decided to invite W and his Polish boyfriend along too, because no one else had ever met W's boyfriend so we were all naturally curious to find out what sort of guy he is. Then, a week beforehand I realise that my colleague M would fit in with this crowd given that myself, P and W are all bankers, so I invite him along as well.

The day arrives and after work, I take a taxi with M to meet the others at the appointed venue, which a decent restaurant in Soho. On the way I tell M a bit about the other guys, so that he'll have an idea about who everyone is. But then a question occurs to me:

"If they ask, how shall we say that we know each other?" I ask. "It's clear that there's no way we could have met just from doing our daily jobs, let alone have worked out that we're both gay!"

"I'm not sure what's best," replies M, realising that we should co-ordinate our stories, "what do you think?"

"Well we could tell the truth if you like," I offer, "but perhaps it would be better to say that we met at the interbank drinks a few months ago instead?"

"Yeah, interbank drinks definitely!" laughs M, and it's agreed.

Everyone is pretty much on time. We have an aperitif in the restaurant bar, and later when we move to the table I end up seated in the middle with P's boyfriend D on one side, and M on the other side.

"There are a lot of countries in the world where we couldn't do this," starts M once we're all seated, "six gay guys socialising together openly in a smart restaurant!"

"Yeah, I think we could all be stoned to death in Islamic countries," says W.

"Actually," says M, "I've heard that in Islamic countries, if you're always the active guy you're not regarded as gay! You're just doing it for fun, because you don't have a woman or something!!"

"So, are you 'gay' GB?" D asks me quietly, while the others carry on talking about the attitudes that different religions have towards being gay. On several occasions D has tried to tempt me into getting to know him a bit better, but since he's P's boyfriend it feels inappropriate. I smile at him in a mildly disapproving way and carry on listening to the conversation about religious attitudes to homosexuality.

Later in the evening I end up chatting to D again while the others are talking about how good their respective mobile phones are at taking pictures.

"Actually my phone is quite good," says D quietly to me again. "Look, this is a great picture isn't it?"

I look at the picture that D's brought up on his phone and it's a picture of him, sitting there naked with a huge erection! I wasn't expecting that at all so I burst out laughing.

"What's that picture?" says P to D with a suspicious tone in his voice.

"Oh, just showing GB the pics that I took last weekend :-)," and indeed, when he turns the phone round for P to see it's a harmless pic of the two of them together in the countryside.

Everyone gets on very well and we spend almost three hours in the restaurant, chatting, eating and drinking. Eventually it seems like time to go and soon we're all saying goodbye to each other outside the restaurant and wishing each other Happy Christmas.

The next day though, I get a txt msg from D:

Hi GB nice seeing u last night .. Behave during Xmas . LOL . D

That's sweet, and mildly playful from him as usual, so I send him a playful reply:

Nice to see you too mate! Somehow I think it's you who are more likely to mis-behave than me LOL! Anyway have a good xmas, whatever you get UP to! GB xoxo

But his reply is a lot more direct that I was expecting:

You too .. Maybe we could mis-behave together one day xxx

Oh dear! The last time I met P and D I found out that D had fallen out with a close friend of P's in connection with D's activities, and the fact that D isn't monogamous seems to be a constant source of tension in their relationship. Everything tells me that I shouldn't get involved with D beyond the playful friendship that we've established, so I have to tell him that:

But I think that would make things too complicated! I don't want to fall out with either P or you. Anyway, I get the impression that your harem is quite full LOL. Stay safe, take care, GB x

D is an attractive guy of course, so surely he can find the fun he's after without needing to resort to seducing with P's friends and colleagues! Half an hour later D's answer arrives

Mm don't worry we wouldn't fall out ..x

but I don't respond.

It's a bit of a dilemma! Should I tell D that I'll never be available for any activities while he's P's boyfriend? Should I try and keep my options open somehow but without actually doing anything with him? Or should I take another course of action and hope that after a single session he'll be satisfied and then move on to focus on his next target? If any readers have any ideas on what I should do with D, please let me know!

Meanwhile of course, today is Christmas Day :-). The timeout with boyfriend P continues, so I'm spending it with ex-boyfriend S. He's an excellent cook so I'm very lucky :-). But anyway, wherever you are or whatever you're doing today, let me wish you a very Merry Christmas :-).

GB xxx

Monday, December 22, 2008

Beers with some straight guys

I can never decide whether it's better for one's banking career to try and stick with one employer, or to change banks regularly so as to keep in touch with the job market and ensure that one is properly rewarded for one's efforts. For much of my career I've followed the latter path, switching bank every few years. However I've noticed that sometimes the most successful guys are the ones that stayed with an early employer, building up their connections within the bank over the years, and sticking it out through the difficult situations that inevitably arise in the course of any long career.

Pub imageAnyway, one of the benefits of switching employers regularly is that one builds up a network of contacts at other banks, so last week I went out for some beers to catch up with a couple of guys who I'll refer to as A and B that I used to work with in one of my previous jobs :-). We agree to meet in a pub not too far from The Bank of England after work. A is on his own when I arrive, half way through his first pint of beer, so I offer to buy him another one while I'm at the bar getting one for myself.

"Thanks GB :-)," says A as I hand him his pint, "so how's life treating you?"

"Well I've survived the recent cull :-)," I say, "but who knows what'll happen next year! How about you?"

"Did you know that I took voluntary redundancy last month?" replies A. "The bank seems to have decided to try and exit complex products as much as possible. I'm sure that they'd like to sell my old trading book if they can, but I doubt there'll be any buyers in this market!"

We chat about the markets for a while, and A tells me about all the problems that he experienced on his trading book over the year. It's interesting to hear about what's been going on, because although I was a trader for a reasonable portion of my career, these days I focus on other things. Of course, the original problems that caused the current financial crisis were in the sub-prime and then the credit markets, but the things that A tells me confirm that even in markets that are not directly connected to those areas there's been a huge increase in risk aversion. The result is poor liquidity which causes all trading books problems, whatever instruments they're dealing with. We're still chatting about the markets when B arrives.

"Hey, B, there you are :-)," says A when he spots B walking towards him. "Get me a pint while you're at the bar mate :-)."

"Errr OK!" replies B accepting the inevitable, "do you want another one GB?"

"Sure, thanks :-)," I reply, taking a gulp of the one I bought myself earlier to try and make sure that I don't slip too far behind.

"But if you end up out of a job, you'd be all right wouldn't you," asks A, once B's returned from the bar and replenished our glasses, "you don't have a mortgage any more do you?"

"Actually I do have a small mortgage now," I admit. "I split up with ex-boyfriend S earlier this year so I bought him a house to live in, because he wouldn't have had the resources to do that himself. So I took out a mortgage on my main house to help pay for it!"

"You did what?" replies A, with an expression of disbelief on his face, "Why on EARTH did you do that, mate??"

"Well, we'd been together for over eighteen years and it seemed like the right thing to do :-)," I explain.

"You clearly don't understand the point of being gay!"

"Which is ... ?" I ask, looking at B in case he can give me any clues as to what A's talking about.

"Which is that you can have as much sex as you want with as many people as you want, and you don't have to explain yourself to anyone, and you certainly don't need to buy your ex-shags a house!"

"Referring to my partner of 18+ years as an 'ex-shag' is an interesting way of looking at things," I laugh, "but luckily I think I've got a better sense of perspective than you have mate!"

A's conversation is typical trader behaviour, pushing things too far to see how it feels, and to see what the reaction is. But I'm used to this playing around of course, so I don't let it bother me.

The evening continues in much the same fashion. It's good to see them both again and to hear their news. When I'm in this sort of company the beers slip down very easily, but after three or four more pints we're all feeling a bit hungry.

"Do any of you guys fancy getting something to eat?" asks A looking at the two of us. We both nod our heads eagerly.

"What shall we go then?" asks B.

"Well, a curry is traditional after all these beers!" I point out.

The tradition for straight British guys to go out and drink too much beer and then pile into an Indian restaurant to see who can eat the hottest vindaloo curry isn't one of the country's finest cultural achievements, but unfortunately after one has consumed too much beer it usually seems like a good idea! So we drain our glasses and head out onto the street to find a cab to take us to the nearest curry house.

During the course of our curry and lager supper, the conversation slips onto the subject of A and B's wives and children. I decide to test out my relationship ideas in a straight context to see what the reaction is.

"Tell me," I say while we're waiting for our main courses, having eaten all the poppadoms that we'd ordered, "if you continue to look after your wives and children and put them first all the time, would it really matter if you sleep around and have other women on the side?"

Luckily neither A or B have any food in their mouths when I ask this because they both erupt at this suggestion.

"Have you EVER had any relationship with a woman GB?" asks A immediately, "In fact, have you ever even slept with a woman??"

"Rude isn't he!" I say, talking to B and shaking my head.

"Basically, once you've had kids, marriage is WAR!" continues A, forgetting his two questions. "You both want the best for your kids, and it's great if you agree on what to do, but it's always a nightmare when you don't agree!"

"But why does that mean that you can't have a mistress?" I ask.

"Because she'd be seen as a potential threat to the marriage, and hence the future of the kids GB," answers A emphatically, "so I don't play around like that!"

"What about you?" I ask B, who'd been keeping rather quiet throughout this whole conversation.

"Um, oh yes, neither do I :-)," says B after a pause. However, something about his body language suggests to me that he might not be telling the whole truth! After all, I only wanted his opinion on the whole conversation, but it seems like his guilty mind focussed on the infidelity issue before finally summoning up the courage to deny everything!

It was a very enjoyable evening, although all the beer, lager and curry made me feel a bit tired the following day. Even if my relationship ideas don't appear very useful in a straight context, I reckon A's ideas about gay life are a bit warped too!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The post-orgasmic sensitive helmet phenomenon

Over the years that I've been meeting other guys for fun, I've noticed a couple of differences relating to the male orgasm. Firstly across guys of a similar age, some guys are able to cum very quickly if they want to, whereas other guys really need to build themselves up to it. For example, there's one young guy that I see sometimes who cums almost as soon as I get his clothes off, but I've been with other guys who're around the same age who need much much more attention.

Perhaps more interesting, however, is the issue of sensitivity to touch after orgasm. After they've cum, the helmet of some guy's cocks will suddenly become incredibly sensitive so that it's very painful for them to have it touched. With other guys however, myself included, there's not much difference before and after orgasm.

Just like the issue of the gay gene that I mentioned previously, it's interesting to speculate as to the evolutionary reason for the post-orgasmic sensitive helmet phenomenon. Is it simply meant to encourage guys to rest once the deed is done, and to save their seed for another occasion? Related to that idea, perhaps the idea is that the guy should move on and find another women to impregnate?

Another thought is that since the helmet is bound to be touched afterwards, for example on exit from one of the guy's partner's orifices, sexual activity for such a guy is presumably always expected to be accompanied by a bit of discomfort at the end. This surely acts as a deterrent to having sex, which strikes me as the reverse of what evolution would be trying to achieve? But maybe the sensation of the orgasm itself in such a guy is more intense and enjoyable to compensate?

It would have been interesting if I'd been keeping detailed records of the ethnic background of the guys that I've encountered who've had the post-orgasmic sensitive helmet, because my impression is that a lot of them have been east or south-east Asian. However, taking consistent notes on the sexual characteristics of the various men that I've had fun with over the years would have been a bit geeky. One can imagine the situation immediately after the finale:

"Ooooo, Arrgh," says the guy, accompanied by a sharp intake of breath, "Sorry! It gets very sensitive ..."

"That's interesting," I reply, reaching for my PDA, "where did you say you come from again?"

"Errr Singapore," replies the guy, relaxing a bit now after the event, "why do you ask?"

"Oh I'm just interested, don't worry," I reply, avoiding the question. But then I grab his helmet again, "And does that still hurt now?"


But of course, I'm not that weird! I don't take notes on this or any other phenomenon.

I guess I find the post-orgasmic sensitive helmet phenomenon interesting because I'm not one of the guys who experiences it to any significant degree. And if orgasms for guys that do experience it are more enjoyable, I guess I'm just a bit jealous!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A wecent twip to a westaurant

Back in April 2007, a guy calling himself Bwave Sir Wobin left a comment on one of my posts. When I looked at his blogger profile to find out who he was, I discovered that he'd just started a blog himself, so I left him an encouraging comment to welcome him to the blogging world. Since then he's left many insightful comments on my posts, and we've exchanged several emails too, so a few weeks ago we decided that it was time to meet each other face to face. Although as a rule I don't meet people who know that I'm GB, I do make exceptions for established bloggers when I've built up some kind of rapport with them over a period of time.

"Actually I know a nice restaurant near where you work," I tell him in an email, "so I'll make a reservation there. And it'll be my treat of course :-), don't argue on this one!"

On the agreed day, we confirm with each other in the morning by exchanging txt msgs:

So LWW, are you still on to meet up tonight? If so, see you there at about 7pm :-). Of course, you don't know what I look like, but since I've got your pic from that web site and you've got my mobile number we should be able to work it out! I suppose I could send you a pic, but then that would spoil the fun, wouldn't it! GB xxx

Within half an hour I get his reply:

Hi GB. 7pm at the restaurant it is! Let the mystery linger a wee bit longer. :-)

I get there first and I'm just checking that I don't have any pending emails or txt msgs on my PDA when Sir Wobin arrives.

"Over here LWW," I shout, "I'm over here :-)."

The guy whose attention I'm trying to attract turns round, in search of the voice that knows his name.

"Ahhh, so you recognised me :-)," he says, walking over to join me with a smile on his face.

Wine glasses"I'm just looking through the wine list," I say as he sits down next to me, "how about I get a bottle of eight year old grand cru Chablis as an aperitif?"

"Sounds good to me GB :-)".

I find a waiter and place the order, and while they're sorting it out for us, we start to get to know each other beyond what we say about ourselves in our blogs. The Chablis arrives while LWW is telling me about his recent holiday to Argentina.

"So did you get a chance to do any gay tango dancing while you were in Buenos Aires?" I ask, "they have regular events there every week organised by lesbians and gay guys, and the guys dance the tango with guys and the girls with the girls!"

"We didn't have time to look into that on this occasion," replies LWW, "but perhaps we'll have a go if we return :-)."

After about an hour the bottle of Chablis is almost empty and our table is ready in the restaurant, so it seems like time to have some food.

"Do you like red wine too?" I ask, once we're seated.

"Not as much as white," says LWW, "but I'm happy to try some if you like :-)."

"Actually I'm quite partial to it, so how about a light red wine?" I suggest. "I really love Burgundy which isn't usually that heavy, so it should be ideal if I can find a good one :-)."

We order the food, and I spot a Faiveley Latricières Chambertin on the wine list that should be ready for drinking so it seems like a sensible choice. With all the important decisions behind us we can relax.

"One thing that I've noticed is that you've got a link to some gambling web sites on your blog," says LWW a bit later, "are you a gambler?"

"Actually online gambling is a bit of a hobby of mine," I confess, "and one can get much better prices from web sites like Betdaq and Betfair than from high street bookmakers. Do you gamble at all?"

It turns out that LWW is a bit of a poker player, and he tells me something about his interest in this activity. We chat quite a lot about gambling, as described in LWW's posting about the evening so it seems unnecessary to repeat everything here.

Somehow we manage to drink almost the entire bottle of Latricières Chambertin before the main course arrives, so anxious to avoid a dry patch I ask one of the waiters to bring us a bottle of Batailley 1996 while LWW is visiting the gents.

"I hope you don't mind but since we've almost finished the Burgundy I've asked them to bring us a mature claret to accompany the main course," I admit when he returns, "I hope that's OK?"

"No complaints so far, GB!" he replies smiling at me.

Later, after we've finished our main courses, LWW receives a txt msg.

"It's from the husband :-)," he explains, looking at his phone, "he's just wondering if I'm having a good time."

"Let me send him a reply!" I suggest, "He knows you're with me this evening doesn't he?"

I type something into his phone, press 'send', and hand the phone back.

"That's no fun," laughs LWW reviewing my txt msg, "you've said you'll return me to him 'undamaged'!!"

Looking back at the evening, I must confess that beyond the first glass of claret my memory about what we talked about isn't quite as solid as for the first part of the evening, and the half-bottle of Coutet 1998 that we had with the dessert only made things worse! I probably told him all my darkest secrets, and he probably told me all his secrets too! However, one thing that I can remember is that it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. I certainly hope to meet him again in the not too distant future :-).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Charity suggestions welcome again

Christmas treeThis year, like last year, a bit of an excess has built up in my account with the Charities Aid Foundation. Since it's almost Christmas again, I reckon that now is a sensible time to empty the account and give the money to good causes :-). Last year there was an excess of £1.6k, and taking into account the suggestions that I got from readers, £400 was donated to each of The Terrence Higgins trust, Crisis, The Albert Kennedy Trust and Action for blind people. During the course of 2008 I've sponsored a few more friends than last year, so this year there's only an excess of £1.3k. None the less, if any readers wants to make sensible suggestions in terms of who to give some money to then I'll try and take their thoughts into account. All suggestions welcome, as long as they're registered UK charities :-).

Sunday, December 07, 2008


I think I've been quite lucky with some of the characteristics that I've inherited from my parents. Lucky, because I reckon I've ended up with my father's brains and my mother's sunny disposition. Although my father is a clever guy, he's got a significant depressive streak in his personality. On the other hand, although my mother isn't academically strong, she's a sensible and kind woman who always looks on the bright side of life. Indeed, if forced to take all characteristics from one parent, I'd go for my mother's characteristics every time.

So I don't expect my current sadness to last. For a few days last year, I felt almost overwhelming sadness when I finally realised that my relationship with ex-boyfriend S was irretrievably broken. This time though, the sadness relates to boyfriend P.

I didn't blog about it at the time, but last summer an opportunity arose which might have allowed me to get an investment banking job in the city where boyfriend P works.  Unfortunately the global financial crisis put a stop to that, so I've been hoping that perhaps boyfriend P could move to live in London with me. Indeed, over the last year or more he's given me many signs that he might be able move to London one day. After our recent trip to Asia together, I thought that  everything was good between us.  However, now that ex-boyfriend S is out of the way and moving to London has actually become feasible, boyfriend P is no longer sure that it's such a good idea for him.

After a lot of discussions about our future, a couple of days ago we agreed a "timeout" so that we'll take a break from each other and discuss everything again in January. This means that we won't be with each other for either Christmas or New Year :-(. What's more, when we do discuss everything in January, it's clear that we might split up :-((.

If that does happen, at least I know that with my mother's cheerful outlook on life, the resulting sadness and depression won't last. Then, eventually I guess I'll be looking for a new boyfriend. Preparing myself for the worst, I think I've got lots of characteristics that other guys might find attractive :-), although I do have one skeleton in my closet. In the wake of the global financial crisis, my current job is in an area that lots of guys might regard as extremely unfashionable!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Do successful gay relationships have to start out as monogamous?

This is a subject which has been quietly sitting as a draft post in my blogger account for over two years now! Before my second ever 'Dear GB' posting, I had an email discussion with the guy who sent me the corresponding email. It was in my reply to his original email that I speculated that when it comes to the monogamy debate, perhaps the most relevant question is whether successful gay relationships start out as monogamous ones. Then yesterday, I got an email asking me a related question, namely do I think that it's possible for gay men to have a healthy monogamous relationship? My thoughts on these two questions are linked, so at long last that draft posting is finally seeing the light of day :-).

My answer to the question about gay men having healthy monogamous relationships is that "it depends"! But I'm prepared to be more specific than that :-). I reckon that short term monogamous gay relationships are very common. When a relationship is new, it's all exciting and there's no need to look elsewhere for anything.

However, the honeymoon period doesn't last forever and gradually things change. Lots of things change for the better of course, as the two guys grow more and more comfortable with each other. However one of the guys will typically have a higher libido than the other. Eventually, perhaps after many years, the guy with the higher libido is likely to feel the need for sexual excitement with someone other than his boyfriend. So I reckon that two gay men will only manage a very long term monogamous relationship if they both have low libidos, which is quite rare!

Indeed, when I meet guys from gaydar or wherever for a bit of fun, often they're guys with long term boyfriends and they're playing around with guys like me without their boyfriend's knowledge. That's why I've written so many posts saying that monogamy isn't a good idea. So many good guys with good relationships end up being dishonest with their boyfriends, and all because monogamy is the de-facto norm and so that's what they're expected to adhere to. The end result can easily be the destruction of otherwise sound relationships.

Going back to that two year old question which has been patiently sitting in my blogger account, when I opened the draft posting yesterday all it said was "I'm not sure", with a reference to the emails behind that that old 'Dear GB' posting. However, I think the answer is probably "Yes, successful gay relationships do start out as monogamous" :-). In the early stages of a relationship, which can last for several years, I think a guy can get everything he needs from his boyfriend. Furthermore that period is important, and probably necessary, to build the solid foundations which will allow the relationship to last. So successful long term gay relationships will probably be monogamous at the very beginning.

I guess this means that my "official" view on the subject of monogamy is being refined! Monogamy is great to start with, but don't expect it to last forever. The most important point is that no one can tell the future. A guy might *think* he wants to be in a monogamous relationship forever, but can the guy actually know that he'll always feel the same way? Of course he can't, things change! So to all the guys who're looking for their first boyfriend, and to the guys who're in the early stages of any relationship with long term prospects, if you think you want a permanently monogamous relationship please please bookmark this posting. Yes, you might always feel the same way, but lots of experience suggests that at some stage you or your boyfriend are likely to change your mind. Why should your relationship be any different to the norm? At some stage, the success of your long term relationship is likely to depend on how well you handle change. And if you accept now that just possibly such a change might occur, it'll be easier to deal with if and when it happens :-).