A Majority of Gay Couples Have 'Arrangements' For Outside Sex

  • metta

    Posts: 39134

    Jun 01, 2014 2:31 AM GMT
    A Majority of Gay Couples Have 'Arrangements' For Outside Sex

    A good chunk of gay couples have open relationships, but in order to lower HIV transmission rates, a new study finds, they may need to make sure the ground rules are clear.

    "According to a study by the University of Michigan, a slight majority of gay couples—57 percent—have “ground rules” like theirs that lay out the guidelines for sexual behavior with others, including provisions for acceptable sex acts, honesty about encounters, and when they need to use protection like condoms. But, the study finds, too often agreements about how to handle sex outside of a relationship go loosely defined or develop without a real conversation to settle the terms, which may then fuel the spread of HIV."

    http://www.hivplusmag.com/sex-dating/2014/05/31/majority-gay-couples-have-arrangements-outside-sex
  • metta

    Posts: 39134

    Jun 01, 2014 2:40 AM GMT
    I'm happy for the people that can make that work but I don't want that. I would rather be single and mostly celibate than be in an open relationship or do hookups. I don't know that I would have a problem with a polygamous relationship...not sure...never attempted it...but I would not consider anything more than that.
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    Jun 01, 2014 2:45 AM GMT
    metta8 saidI'm happy for the people that can make that work but I don't want that. I would rather be single and mostly celibate than be in an open relationship or do hookups. I don't know that I would have a problem with a polygamous relationship...not sure...never attempted it...but I would not consider anything more than that.

    Do you think monogamy is another option for you?
  • metta

    Posts: 39134

    Jun 01, 2014 2:46 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    metta8 saidI'm happy for the people that can make that work but I don't want that. I would rather be single and mostly celibate than be in an open relationship or do hookups. I don't know that I would have a problem with a polygamous relationship...not sure...never attempted it...but I would not consider anything more than that.

    Do you think monogamy is another option for you?


    Yes, of course. That would probably be preferred over all other options.
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    Jun 01, 2014 3:03 AM GMT
    metta8 said
    Art_Deco said
    metta8 saidI'm happy for the people that can make that work but I don't want that. I would rather be single and mostly celibate than be in an open relationship or do hookups. I don't know that I would have a problem with a polygamous relationship...not sure...never attempted it...but I would not consider anything more than that.

    Do you think monogamy is another option for you?

    Yes, of course. That would probably be preferred over all other options.

    OK, I wasn't sure from your post, perhaps my own comprehension skills. What I find unsatisfying in this study is the small sample (361 couples), and, at least in the article, no indication of the demographics or locations of respondents, or polling methodology. Online, telephone? How was it advertised? In gay rags, online sites? I think those might have an impact on the results.

    I would expect age especially to impact on monogamy versus open relationships, with younger couples being more open and older couples more monogamous. Did a sample of 361 adjust for this? In fact, does anyone even know what the percentages of gay men are by age group?

    Do you choose to sample certain numbers of men in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and if so, what would those ratios be? Or do you just rely on whatever random demographic responds to your poll? Was that tracked, and what did it show by age group? And what about education level, race, and other factors? In such a small sample, would analysis by such factors even be valid?
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    Jun 01, 2014 3:25 AM GMT
    “I already knew what the results were going to be,” Bob recalled thinking after his partner broke the news of being positive. “We’d had unprotected sex with each other for years..."

    My husband & I also know what the results are going to be - negative. Because we don't have ANY sex with others, I guess a gay version of abstinence. But we still test. Partly as a show of trust (not distrust), but more as an example to others, and to keep ourselves informed. We wouldn't be very credible community advocates for HIV testing if we didn't do it ourselves.

    Saying that we're not at risk as the reason is the worst thing to do, because many men will rationalize that they're not at risk, either, even when they are. We'd be sending exactly the wrong message, which should be: EVERYONE tests, no exceptions, just like us.

    He & I staffed a booth at Fort Lauderdale Pride in March, to raise awareness for our HIV/AIDS charity bike ride. There was a mobile HIV testing bus on the grounds, so I went over and got tested, by a method I hadn't used before. I tested negative, as I knew I would, but was more interested in how the results visually appeared before your eyes within seconds. Then I received a wallet card with my results, and a sticker to wear that said I had tested.

    Returning to our booth I showed my husband the card. "This is what they're giving you when you test. And if you're positive they have counselors right there. Go over and test, too, and get one of these stickers to wear."

    And so he did. When he returned I didn't even ask to see his card, no need. For the rest of Pride we wore our stickers on our shirts, and told visitors to our booth about the free testing bus, and what they did inside it. And now we know how the finger-prick testing method works for instant results, so we can tell others.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Jun 01, 2014 3:29 AM GMT
    Monogamy is no problem ... just make sure you are the only one with the key icon_biggrin.gif

    1.0x0.jpg
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    Jun 01, 2014 3:31 AM GMT
    AMoonHawk saidMonogamy is no problem ... just make sure you are the only one with the key icon_biggrin.gif

    1.0x0.jpg

    Are the butt balls optional?
  • Camz03

    Posts: 91

    Jun 01, 2014 3:30 PM GMT
    I like how much Art_Deco critically deconstructed the methodology of the article. However, I think even without the results, it goes without saying that the implications are the same: open couples should have rules about sex, otherwise there is the potential for the spread of HIV.

    My boyfriend and I have a set of rules that would cause others to define us as "open". Without getting too complicated, the basic rule is still "no condom, no sex".

    Because of the individualistic nature of westernised communities, many guys feel my view on the matter is none of my business and they feel I am somehow intruding on their privacy, but looking at our actions as having an impact on the surrounding social context means that sex without a condom is socially irresponsible in my opinion. Unless you are in a strict monogamous relationship, perhaps.
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    Jun 01, 2014 9:23 PM GMT
    I see it all the time on Grindr, Craigslist. **Couple looking for fun. They have this arrangement probably because of numerous reasons. They can't move out yet for financial reasons, their back up booty calls....etc.
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Jun 02, 2014 10:44 PM GMT
    We don't have to subscribe to a hetero-normative view of the world, and so we don't have to play by "their" rules.

    Having said that, I think humans biologically, gay and straight, desire to pair bond in monogamous pairs socially. Other mammals and species do as well. There's a huge different in social monogamy and sexual monogamy. Social monogamy is when you "hold out" a person as your partner in every situation, always take their side publicly, and are the one who is the beneficiary on insurance policies and who you live with. Sexual monogamy is defined.

    Personally, I DEMAND social monogamy. If we're a "couple" you won't be taking a tricks side over mine in public, nor will you be ditching me for him. And we're currently sexually monogamous. However, I'd be open to becoming sexually open, WITH rules to control for STDs and hurt feelings (Always condoms, no repeat tricks, etc.).

    To each his own, seems to work.
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    Jun 03, 2014 6:19 PM GMT
    Camz03 saidit goes without saying that the implications are the same: open couples should have rules about sex, otherwise there is the potential for the spread of HIV.

    My boyfriend and I have a set of rules that would cause others to define us as "open". Without getting too complicated, the basic rule is still "no condom, no sex".

    Maybe you're no expert - but curiosity has gotten to me - Do you think "open" gay relationships are more common in your country than elsewhere? May be it's just that guys are more discreet (not announcing that their relationship is open) where I live, but I don't notice it so much here.
  • LEANDRO_NJ

    Posts: 1116

    Jun 04, 2014 2:34 AM GMT
    361 GAY COUPLES SURVEYED...AND THEY CALL THAT A MAJORITY OF GAY COUPLES?
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Jun 04, 2014 2:48 AM GMT
    LeandroNJ:

    I'm a lawyer, not a statistician. But I speculate that 350+ is statistically relevant. For example, "national" polls by CBS, CNN, Pew typically have 1,300 people. I know the MORE people you survey the higher the confidence rate, and lower the margin of error, but 350 sounds large enough for a valid extrapolation.

    Again, I don't know the exact math and how it's computed, though. So I could be wrong.
  • LEANDRO_NJ

    Posts: 1116

    Jun 04, 2014 2:55 AM GMT
    Svnw688 saidLeandroNJ:

    I'm a lawyer, not a statistician. But I speculate that 350+ is statistically relevant. For example, "national" polls by CBS, CNN, Pew typically have 1,300 people. I know the MORE people you survey the higher the confidence rate, and lower the margin of error, but 350 sounds large enough for a valid extrapolation.

    Again, I don't know the exact math and how it's computed, though. So I could be wrong.


    It still does not count the millions of gay couples from both sides, monogamous or open relationship types! but I am glad to be in the minority, it suits me just fine! icon_wink.gif
  • Kjonyou

    Posts: 93

    Jun 13, 2014 8:47 AM GMT
    Svnw688 saidLeandroNJ:

    I'm a lawyer, not a statistician. But I speculate that 350+ is statistically relevant. For example, "national" polls by CBS, CNN, Pew typically have 1,300 people. I know the MORE people you survey the higher the confidence rate, and lower the margin of error, but 350 sounds large enough for a valid extrapolation.

    Again, I don't know the exact math and how it's computed, though. So I could be wrong.


    Sorry, but no, the statisticians have a magic number that yield a accurate result and anything lower then that is basically a wild card which could go either way if the survey was repeated. That magic number is about 600 people per 1 million. So in the US with 300,000,000 people 1,800 would be the minimum for a 99% accuracy.