“The diversity in types of non-monogamous relationships was interesting, and something that hasn’t been explored very much in research studies,” claims Dr. Jeffrey Parsons, who authored the study. “Typically gay men have been categorized as monogamous or not—and our data show that it is not so black-and-white.”
Roughly 40% of the survey’s respondents said they were partnered, with 58% of those men claiming to be in strictly monogamous relationships. Of the 32% in non-monogamous pairings, though, 47% were “monogamish,” a phrase popularized by Dan Savage to refer to relationships that were mostly closed, but with a little wiggle room.
Not unexpectedly, men in fully monogamous partnerships showed significantly less illicit drug use and unsafe-sex practices. But the guys in “monogamish” relationships showed lower rates of depression when compared to single gay men, and higher rates of life satisfaction than singles or guys in open or closed relationships.