Str8Curious is a monthly AskMen column where out and proud lifestyle expert Joey Skladany answers burning questions from heterosexual men about sex, dating, and the LGBTQ+ community. No topic is off limits as he candidly lends advice, debunks stereotypes, and gives it to you straight — err — gay. Should you be interested in submitting a question for editorial consideration (and we will respect anonymity), feel free to ping Joey directly on Instagram or email him at [email protected]).
It seems like every gay person I know is in an open relationship. How do they do it? It sounds great in theory, but how do you prevent jealousy and build up this level of trust? – Derek, Chicago, IL
While I’d like to believe that I am capable of devoting myself, Baptist minister-style, to a committed, loving, lifelong relationship, I also can’t fathom the idea of being with one dick and one dick only. It’s not that I’m a slut (at least by gay standards), but you know what they say: The grass is always greener on the other side. And for me, that grass happens to be a field of pretty penises attached to hot men from all over the world. Like Pok?mon, I feel like I have to catch ‚em all (or at least try).
So the answer to your question is that gay men, like me, are ultimately destined to die alone because they don’t know how to stay monogamous. Thanks for asking and see you for next month’s column.
At this point, it’s fairly easy to conclude that what works for some people doesn’t always work for others. The dynamic of every couple is complex, and while there are plenty of healthy gay relationships that leave things open (or at least allow a little wiggle room), many are also rooted in monogamy and that’s what works best for them.
But if you’re curious about opening your legs — err — relationship to other sexual partners, there are quite a few things you can learn from non-monogamous gays about how to approach this type of arrangement. Here is what I have gathered:
1. Start by participating in threesomes
If sex gets boring and you’ve tried every position, toy, costume, or flavored lube under the sun, why not bring a third or even another couple into the bedroom to spice things up? You both get to feel the rush of being with someone else, but it’s a shared experience and one you can use to get off on down the road.
Of course, you always run the risk of the third or fourth (or even fifth) being more into one of you than the other, but it’s easy to lay out some ground rules with your partner before crawling under the sheets (i.e. no intense makeout sessions, no penetration, etc.)
2. Consider the ‚don’t ask, don’t tell‘ approach
I’m not advocating for you to start sleeping around without telling your partner. That’s, what’s the word for it… cheating. But if you can both agree to this policy in advance, it’s not the worst one around.
In my experience, „ignorance is bliss“ seems to be the general vibe when it comes to open gay relationships, but this is not possible unless there is foundation of the sturdiest trust you can find. Not only do you have to ensure that these outside encounters are safe, but you must also put up an emotional wall and treat the hook-up for what it is: good sex and good sex only.
This is obviously the most difficult type of situation to maintain in perpetuity, but it works for those who really can block their feelings when hooking up.
3. Just be open-minded and honest
While many couples prefer to turn a blind eye to extracurricular activities, others maintain an open dialogue about who they are hooking up with or who they plan to hook up with in the future. They’ll share their conquests with their partner (which can be a bit of a turn-on) and treat sex as simply a necessity that can’t be completely fulfilled by the same person.
Of course, there can’t be an inkling of jealousy present. And it’s likely that you’ll assume the role of your partner’s cheerleader in encouraging them to take part in some outside bonking. But for many gays, this is the best option. There’s nothing to hide and, at the end of the day, the partners go home to see and be with each other (and not a side piece).
I can’t reiterate enough that open relationships aren’t for everyone. In fact, I actually value and respect couples who go decades of being only with each other. As the jealous bitch I know that I am, this is an ideal scenario, but I’m also realistic about men and how so many of us are hard-wired to crave sex, well, practically always. And because I can’t even make up my mind in an ice cream shop, Lord knows the difficulty I’ll have committing to one flavor for the rest of my life.
You should also never punish yourself if the desire to be with someone else arises. This could be due to shortcomings in your relationship (which should be discussed thoroughly with your partner and/or in therapy), but it could also just be because you’re a dude who enjoys getting off and you like the idea of grabbing titties, rubbing a vag, or whatever straights do.
Humans are sexual beings who have itches that need to be scratched. There is no shame in admitting that you may need something beyond the status quo and you may be surprised to find that your girl is on board with it.
Of course, openness and honesty has to be the bedrock of any relationship before third parties are welcomed. Once that is established, you can focus less on the bedrock — and more on making the bed rock.
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